Neurological Surgery, Semmes-Murphey Neurologic & Spine Institute, 2010
Neurological Surgery, UCSF Department of Neurology, 2009
Surgery, UCSF Department of Surgery, 2004
MD, UC San Diego School of Medicine, 2003
PhD, University of California, San Diego-Neurosciences Graduate Program, 2001

Medical Board Certifications

Neurological Surgery
American Board of Neurological Surgery, 2014

State License

  • About Me

    About Me

    Membership, Medical Organizations:
    • American Association of Neurological Surgeons
    • American Association for the Advancement of Science
    • Congress of Neurological Surgeons
    • AANS/CNS Section on Disorders of Spine and Peripheral Nerves
    • AANS/CNS Section on Neurotrauma & Critical Care
    • Society for Neuroscience


  • Locations

    UCLA Spine Center

    (primary location)
    1131 Wilshire Blvd
    Suite 100
    Santa Monica, California 90401
  • Education

    Medical Board Certifications

    Neurological Surgery
    American Board of Neurological Surgery, 2014


    Neurological Surgery, Semmes-Murphey Neurologic & Spine Institute, 2010
    Neurological Surgery, UCSF Department of Neurology, 2009
    Surgery, UCSF Department of Surgery, 2004
    MD, UC San Diego School of Medicine, 2003
    PhD, University of California, San Diego-Neurosciences Graduate Program, 2001
  • Clinical Interests
    • Adult Tethered Cord
    • Ankylosing Spondylitis
    • Artificial Disk
    • Back Surgery
    • Basilar Invagination
    • BMP (Bone Morphogenetic Protein)
    • Bone Protein Implant
    • Brachial Plexus
    • Brain Injury
    • Brain Stem Tumors
    • Cavernous Angiomas
    • Cervical Spine
    • Chiari Malformation
    • Complex Trauma
    • Congenital Disorders of the Brain and Spine
    • Craniocervical Junction Decompression & Fusion
    • Discogram
    • Disk Degeneration
    • Disk Herniation
    • Endoscopic Spine Surgery
    • Facet Joint Syndrome
    • Fracture of Spine
    • General Neurosurgery
    • Hydrocephalus
    • Kyphoplasty / Vertebroplasty
    • Laminectomy
    • Lipoma
    • Lumbar Tumor Surgery
    • Magnetic Resonance Neurography
    • Metabolic Bone Disease
    • Microsurgery
    • Minimally Invasive Surgery
    • Multi Trauma
    • Myelopathy
    • Neck Pain
    • Nerve Tumor
    • Neuro Endoscopy
    • Nonunion Trauma
    • Oncology
    • Osteoporosis
    • Pars Defect of Lumbar Spine
    • Pars Defect Repair
    • Peripheral Nerve
    • Platybasia
    • Radiculopathy
    • Re-open Surgery
    • Re-operation Surgery
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • Sacroiliac Joint Fusion
    • Sacroiliac Joint Pain
    • Schwannoma
    • Sciatica
    • Scoliosis / Kyphosis
    • Spina Bifida
    • Spinal Compression Fracture & Fusion
    • Spinal Cord Injury
    • Spinal Cord Stimulators
    • Spinal Cord Tumors
    • Spinal Fusion
    • Spinal Infections
    • Spinal Stenosis
    • Spinal Tumor
    • Spine
    • Spine / Back Surgery
    • Spine Minimally Invasive
    • Spine Surgery Instrumentation
    • Spine Trauma (Complex & Fresh)
    • Spondylolisthesis/Spondylolysis
    • Sports Spine Injury Disorder
    • Synovial Cyst
    • Syringomyelia
    • Thoracic Spine and Disks
    • Trauma
    • Unstable Spine
    • Vertebroplasty
  • Research

    Research Interests

    Daniel C. Lu is a member of the Comprehensive Spine Center in Santa Monica. Dr. Lu's clinical expertise involves minimally invasive techniques in the surgical management of degenerative, traumatic, and neoplastic spinal disorders. As the Director of the Neuroplasticity and Repair Laboratory and the UCLA Neuromotor Recovery and Rehabilitation Center, his research efforts are focused on modulating the neuronal circuitry and networks in the treatment of central nervous system disorders with the ultimate goal of restoring lost function.



    Peer- Reviewed Publications

    1. Au Yong N., Lu D.C. Neuromodulation of lumbar spinal locomotor circuit. Neurosurg Clin N Am 25: 15-23 (2014).
    2. Buchanan C.C., Lu D.C., Buchanan C., Tran T.T. Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma and spinal cord infarction following orthotopic liver transplantation: Case report and review of the literature. Sug Neurol Int 4: S359-61 (2013).
    3. Saigal R., Lu D.C., Deng D.Y., Chou D. Conversion to high to mid-sacral amputation via S2 nerve preservation during partial S2 sacrectomy for chordoma. J. Neurosug Spine: 421-9 (2014).
    4. Kimball J., Kusnezov N.A., Pezeshkian P., Lu D.C. Minimally invasive surgical decompression for lumbar metastases. Surg Neurol Int. 4: 78 (2013).
    5. Kimball J., Yew A., Getachew R., Lu D.C. Minimally invasive tubular surgery for transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion. Neurosurg Focus 35: Video19 (2013).
    6. Yew A., Kimball J., Pezeshkian P., Lu D.C. Minimally invasive palliative resection of lumbar epidural metastasis. Neurosurg Focus 35: Video 18 (2013).
    7. Kimball J., Yew A., Lu D.C. Minimally invasive surgery for lumbar microdiscectomy. Neurosurg Focus 35: Video 15 (2013).
    8. Li C.H., Yew A.Y., Lu D.C. Migration of traumatic intracranial SDH to lumbar spine causing radiculopathy. Surg Neurol Int 4:81 (2013).
    9. Lee S.I, Ghasemzadeh H., Mortazavi B.J., Yew A., Getachew R., Razaghy M., Ghalehsari N., Paak B.H., Garst J.H., Espinal M., Kimball J., Lu D.C., Sarrafzadeh M. Objective assessment of overexcited hand movements using a lightweight sensory device. Paper #77. IEEE Body Sensor Network Conference (2013).
    10. Li C.H., Yew A.Y., Kimball J.A., McBride D.Q., Wang J.C., Lu D.C. Comparison of operating field sterility in open versus minimally invasive microdiscectomies of the lumbar spine. Surg Neurol Int 4:S295-8 (2013). 
    11. Yew A., Kimball, J., Lu D.C. Surgical seroma formation following posterior cervical laminectomy and fusion without rhBMP-2. J Neurosurg Spine Jul 5 (2013).
    12. Huang A.P., Chen C.M., Lai H.S., Chou C.C., Lu D.C., Kuo L.T., Chuang H.Y., Tsai, J.C. The posterior transthecal approach for repair of cauda equine fibers and ventral dural laceration: a novel surgical technique. Spine (2013).
    13. Kusnezov N.A., Velani S.A., Lu D.C. Cerebrospinal fluid leak secondary to chiropractic manipulation. Surg Neurol Int. 4: S118-20 (2013).
    14. Lu D.C., Tumialan L.M., Chou D. Multilevel anterior cervical discectomy and fusion with and without rhBMP-2: a comparison of dysphagia rates and outcomes in 150 patients. J Neurosurg Spine 18: 43-9 (2012).
    15. Yang I., Nagasawa D.T., Kim W., Spasic M., Trang A., Lu D.C., Martin N.A. Chromosomal anomalies and prognostic markers for intracranial and spinal ependymomas. J Clin Neurosci 19: 779-85 (2012).
    16. Lu D.C., Zador Z., Yao J., Fazlollahi F., Manley G.T. Aquaporin-4 reduces post-traumatic seizure susceptibility by promoting astrocytic glial scar formation in mice. J Neurotrauma (2011).
    17. Rodriguez-Hernandez A., Lu D.C., Meric S., Lawton M.T. Aneurysms associated with non-moyamoya collateral arterial networks: report of three cases and review of literature. Neurosurg Rev. 34: 517-22 (2011).
    18. Nagasawa D.T., Smith Z.A., Cremer N., Fong C. Lu D.C., Yang I. Complications associated with the treatment for spinal ependymomas. Neurosurg Focus. 31: E13 (2011).
    19. Lu D.C., Chou D., Mummaneni P.V. A comparison of mini-open and open approaches for resection of thoracolumbar intradural spinal tumors. J Neurosurg Spine Mar 11 (2011).
    20. Lau D., Lee J.G., Han S.J., Lu D.C., Chou D. Complications and perioperative factors associated with learning the technique of minimally invasive transforaminal interbody fusion (TLIF). J Clin Neurosci. 18: Feb 23 (2011).
    21. Han S.J., Lau D., Lu D.C., Chou D. Anterior thoracolumbar corpectomies: apporach morbidity with and without an access surgeon Feb 4 (2011).
    22. Lu D.C., Dhall S.S., Mummaneni P.V. The transpinous mini-open approach for resection of intradural spinal neoplasms: cadaveric feasibility study and report of 3 clinical cases. World Neurosurg 74: 195-199 (2010).
    23. Clark A.J., Lu D.C., Richardson R.M., Tihan T., Parsa A.T., Chou D., Barbaro N.M., Kunwar S., Weinstein P.R., Lawton M.T., Berger M.S., McDermott M.W. Surgical technique of temporary arterial occlusion in the operative management of spinal hemangioblastomas. World Neurosurg 74: 200-205 (2010).
    24. Chou D.C., Lu D.C. Mini-open transpedicular corpectomies with expandable cage reconstruction. J Neurosurg Spine (2010).
    25. Lu D.C., Zador Z., Mummaneni P.V., Lawton M.T. Rotational vertebral artery occlusion-series of 9 cases. Neurosurgery 67: 1066-72 (2010).
    26. Lu D.C., Lawton M.T. Clinical presentation and surgical management of intramedullary spinal cord cavernous malformations. Neurosurg Focus 29: E12 (2010).
    27. Lau D., Han S.J., Lee J.G., Lu D.C., Chou D. Minimally invasive compared to open microdiscectomy for lumbar disc herniation. J Clin Neurosci (2010).
    28. Lu D.C., Lau D., Lee J.G., Chou D. The transpedicular approach versus the anterior approach: an analysis of 80 thoracolumbar corpectomies. JNS Spine 12: 583-91 (2010).
    29. Mummaneni P., Lu D.C., Dhall, S., Mummaneni V., Chou D. C1 Lateral Mass Fixation: A comparison of ccnstructs. Neurosurgery 66, 153-60 (2010).
    30. Lu D.C., Roeser A.C., Mummaneni V.P., Mummaneni P. Nuances of occipitocervical fixation. Neurosurgery 66, 141-6 (2010).
    31. Wang V., Chin C., Lu D.C., Smith J.S., Chou D. Free-hand thoracic pedicle screw placed by neurosurgery residents: a CT analysis. Eur Spine J (2010).
    32. Lu D.C., Wang V., Chou D. The use of allograft or autograft and expandable titanium cages for the treatment of vertebral osteomyelitis. Neurosurgery 64:122-30 (2009).
    33. Zador Z., Lu D.C., Arnold C.M., Lawton M.T. Deep bypasses to the distal posterior circulation: anatomical and clinical comparison of pretemporal and subtemporal approaches. Neurosurgery 66, 92-100 (2010).
    34. Lu D.C., Gupta N., Mummaneni P. Minimally invasive decompression for rotational vertebral artery occlusion. J Neurosurg Peds 4, 191-195 (2009).
    35. Chou D., Eltgroth M., Yang I., Lu D.C., Manley G. Rib head disarticulation for multilevel transpedicular thoracic corpectomies and exapandable cage reconstruction. Neurol India 57, 469-473 (2009).
    36. Aryan H.E., Newman C.B., Lu D.C., Hu S.S., Tay B.K., Bradford D.S., Puttlitz C.M., Ames C.P. Relaxation of forces needed to distract cervical vertebrae after discectomy. J Spinal Disord Tech 22, 100-104 (2009).
    37. Lu D.C., Dhall S.S., Mummaneni P. Mini-open removal of extradural foraminal tumor of the lumbar spine. J Neurosurg Spine 10, 46-50 (2009).
    38. Lawton M.T., Lu D.C., Zodor Z. Current strategies for complex aneurysms using intracranial bypass and reconstructive techniques. Jap J Neurosurg 17: 601-611 (2008).
    39. Lu D.C., Zheng H., Verkman A.S. Impaired olfaction in mice lacking aquaporin-4 water channels. FASEB J. 22, 3216-23 (2008).
  • News & Awards

    In the News


    • H and H Lee Surgical Research Scholar Award 2012
    • Larson Research Award, American Association of Neurological Surgeons 2012
    • Oppenheimer Program Seed Award 2012
    • Outcomes Research Award, AANS/CNS Joint Section of Spine and Peripheral Nerves 2010
    • Edwin Boldrey Award, San Francisco Neurological Society 2009
    • Synthes Craniofacial and Brain Trauma Research Award, AANS Section in Trauma 2009
    • Clinical Trial Proposal Award, AANS/CNS Joint Section of Spine and Peripheral Nerves 2008
    • Meyerson-Shoofey Spine Research Award 2008
    • UCSF Clinical Trials Research Funding Program 2008
  • Videos