Aaron Clark, MD, PhD


Dr. Aaron Clark is a neurosurgeon specializing in minimally invasive outpatient procedures for lumbar and cervical herniated discs and stenosis, as well as minimally invasive lumbar fusion surgery. Minimally invasive spine procedures are associated with shorter recovery times and less postoperative pain than standard surĀ¬geries, and almost all patients can return home the same day.

Clark earned his medical and postdoctoral degrees from the Medical College of Virginia. He completed his neurosurgery residency at UCSF, where he developed his interest in spine surgery and began publishing research on spinal oncology, spine biomechanics, spinal deformity and intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring during spine surgery. In 2014, he completed a fellowship in minimally invasive spine surgery at the Semmes-Murphey Neurologic and Spine Institute in Memphis, Tenn., under the mentorship of Dr. Kevin Foley, a pioneer of minimally invasive spine surgery.


Neurosurgery Clinic
400 Parnassus Ave., Eighth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: (415) 353-7500
Fax: (415) 353-2889

Hours: Monday to Friday
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Spine Center
400 Parnassus Ave., Third Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143-0332
Phone: (866) 81-SPINE or
(866) 817-7463
Neurospine : (415) 353-2739
Neuro-spine Fax: (415) 353-2176
Ortho-spine Fax: (415) 353-4047

Hours: Monday to Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

More about Aaron Clark


Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine 2008


UCSF Medical Center, Neurosurgery 2014


University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery 2015

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Burkhardt JK, Safaee MM, Clark AJ, Lawton MT. Sacral epidural arteriovenous fistulas: imitators of spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas with different pathologic anatomy: report of three cases and review of the literature. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2017 Jun; 159(6):1087-1092.
  2. Ames CP, Clark AJ, Kanter AS, Arnold PM, Fehlings MG, Mroz TE, Riew KD. Hypoglossal Nerve Palsy After Cervical Spine Surgery. Global Spine J. 2017 Apr; 7(1 Suppl):37S-39S.
  3. Clark AJ, Wang DD, Lawton MT. Spinal cavernous malformations. Handb Clin Neurol. 2017; 143:303-308.
  4. Lau D, Funao H, Clark AJ, Nicholls F, Smith J, Bess S, Shaffrey C, Schwab FJ, Lafage V, Deviren V, Hart R, Kebaish KM, Ames CP. The Clinical Correlation of the Hart-ISSG Proximal Junctional Kyphosis Severity Scale With Health-Related Quality-of-life Outcomes and Need for Revision Surgery. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2016 Feb; 41(3):213-23.
  5. Clark AJ, Fakurnejad S, Ma Q, Hashizume R. Bioluminescence Imaging of an Immunocompetent Animal Model for Glioblastoma. J Vis Exp. 2016 Jan 15; (107):e53287.
  6. Khan NR, Clark AJ, Lee SL, Venable GT, Rossi NB, Foley KT. Surgical Outcomes for Minimally Invasive vs Open Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Neurosurgery. 2015 Dec; 77(6):847-74; discussion 874.
  7. Saigal R, Clark AJ, Scheer JK, Smith JS, Bess S, Mummaneni PV, McCarthy IM, Hart RA, Kebaish KM, Klineberg EO, Deviren V, Schwab F, Shaffrey CI, Ames CP. Adult Spinal Deformity Patients Recall Fewer Than 50% of the Risks Discussed in the Informed Consent Process Preoperatively and the Recall Rate Worsens Significantly in the Postoperative Period. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2015 Jul 15; 40(14):1079-85.
  8. Sun MZ, Oh T, Ivan ME, Clark AJ, Safaee M, Sayegh ET, Kaur G, Parsa AT, Bloch O. Survival impact of time to initiation of chemoradiotherapy after resection of newly diagnosed glioblastoma. J Neurosurg. 2015 May; 122(5):1144-50.
  9. Safaee M, Fakurnejad S, Bloch O, Clark AJ, Ivan ME, Sun MZ, Oh T, Phillips JJ, Parsa AT. Proportional upregulation of CD97 isoforms in glioblastoma and glioblastoma-derived brain tumor initiating cells. PLoS One. 2015; 10(2):e0111532.
  10. Scheer JK, Smith JS, Clark AJ, Lafage V, Kim HJ, Rolston JD, Eastlack R, Hart RA, Protopsaltis TS, Kelly MP, Kebaish K, Gupta M, Klineberg E, Hostin R, Shaffrey CI, Schwab F, Ames CP. Comprehensive study of back and leg pain improvements after adult spinal deformity surgery: analysis of 421 patients with 2-year follow-up and of the impact of the surgery on treatment satisfaction. J Neurosurg Spine. 2015 May; 22(5):540-53.
  11. Osorio JA, Clark AJ, Safaee M, Tate MC, Aghi MK, Parsa A, McDermott MW. Intraoperative Conversion from Endoscopic to Open Transcortical-Transventricular Removal of Colloid Cysts as a Salvage Procedure. Cureus. 2015 Feb; 7(2):e247.
  12. Clark AJ, Safaee M, Oh T, Ivan ME, Parimi V, Hashizume R, Ozawa T, James CD, Bloch O, Parsa AT. Stable luciferase expression does not alter immunologic or in vivo growth properties of GL261 murine glioma cells. J Transl Med. 2014 Dec 03; 12:345.
  13. Lau D, Clark AJ, Scheer JK, Daubs MD, Coe JD, Paonessa KJ, LaGrone MO, Kasten MD, Amaral RA, Trobisch PD, Lee JH, Fabris-Monterumici D, Anand N, Cree AK, Hart RA, Hey LA, Ames CP. Proximal junctional kyphosis and failure after spinal deformity surgery: a systematic review of the literature as a background to classification development. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 Dec 01; 39(25):2093-102.
  14. Ivan ME, Safaee M, Oh T, Clark AJ, Sun MZ, Kim J, Bloch O, Jahangiri A, Phillips JJ, Aghi MK, Parsa AT. Epidermal growth factor-like module containing mucin-like hormone receptor 2 expression in gliomas. J Neurooncol. 2015 Jan; 121(1):53-61.
  15. Sun MZ, Ivan ME, Oh MC, Delance AR, Clark AJ, Safaee M, Oh T, Kaur G, Molinaro A, Gupta N, Parsa AT. Effects of adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation on overall survival in children with choroid plexus carcinoma. J Neurooncol. 2014 Nov; 120(2):353-60.
  16. Clark AJ, Garcia RM, Keefe MK, Koski TR, Rosner MK, Smith JS, Cheng JS, Shaffrey CI, McCormick PC, Ames CP. Results of the AANS membership survey of adult spinal deformity knowledge: impact of training, practice experience, and assessment of potential areas for improved education: Clinical article. J Neurosurg Spine. 2014 Oct; 21(4):640-7.
  17. Sparrey CJ, Bailey JF, Safaee M, Clark AJ, Lafage V, Schwab F, Smith JS, Ames CP. Etiology of lumbar lordosis and its pathophysiology: a review of the evolution of lumbar lordosis, and the mechanics and biology of lumbar degeneration. Neurosurg Focus. 2014 May; 36(5):E1.
  18. Oh T, Fakurnejad S, Sayegh ET, Clark AJ, Ivan ME, Sun MZ, Safaee M, Bloch O, James CD, Parsa AT. Immunocompetent murine models for the study of glioblastoma immunotherapy. J Transl Med. 2014 Apr 29; 12:107.
  19. Clark AJ, Tang JA, Leasure JM, Ivan ME, Kondrashov D, Buckley JM, Deviren V, Ames CP. Gait-simulating fatigue loading analysis and sagittal alignment failure of spinal pelvic reconstruction after total sacrectomy: comparison of 3 techniques. J Neurosurg Spine. 2014 Apr; 20(4):364-70.
  20. Abla AA, Clark AJ, Lawton ML. Resection of pontine cavernous malformation through the pontomedullary sulcus. Neurosurg Focus. 2014 Jan; 36(1 Suppl):1.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.