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K. Daniel Riew, MD

K. Daniel Riew, MD
Mildred Simon Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Chief, Cervical Spine Surgery

VideoPhysician Profile Video
Link to article:"Top 18 Spine Surgeons in North America"

*Dr. Riew is not accepting new patients.

Clinical Specialty
Cervical spine surgery

Clinical Interests
Dr. Riew is the Chief of Cervical Spine Surgery for Washington University Orthopedics. He is the Mildred B. Simon Distinguished Professor of Orthopedics and Professor of Neurological Surgery. In 2007, he founded the Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Cervical Spine Institute, dedicated to the operative and non-operative treatment of cervical spine disorders. His practice is exclusively limited to the operative treatment of the cervical spine, a rarity among spine surgeons. He performs between 250 and 300 cervical spine operations each year. His operations include everything from minimally invasive microsurgical procedures done on an outpatient basis to the most complex “chin-on-chest” or “ear-on-shoulder” deformities. He has a strong interest in cervical artificial disc replacements and has performed single, multi-level and hybrid (fusion and artificial disc) operations on a large number of patients. Patients from Asia, Europe, South America, India, Australia and the Middle East, as well as throughout the United States have sought out his expertise. Among these are over 90 physicians who were operated on by Dr. Riew, including several spine surgeons. He has also operated on over 60 physicians’ family members. His patients include professional baseball, football, hockey, and golf players and he was selected to lead a group of spine experts at Washington University that is responsible for the care of retired National Football League players. He has consistently been recognized in the lists of America's Top Doctors and Best Doctors in America since 2001.

Research Interests
Enhancement of bone healing, effect of medications on bone healing, selective nerve root blocks for avoidance of surgery.

Dr. Riew graduated from Harvard College, where he was awarded the Class Ames Award for Character and Leadership, and Case Western Reserve University Medical School, where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha honorary medical society for top students in his junior year. He finished a residency in Internal Medicine at Cornell Medical Center and Orthopedics at George Washington University. He then trained under the world-renowned cervical spine surgeon, Dr. Henry Bohlman. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine as well as Orthopedics. In 1995, he was recruited by Washington University to start the cervical spine service in the newly formed Department of Orthopedics. From less than a dozen cervical procedures done by the department in 1994, he has developed one of the largest cervical spine practices in the world. He is also active in research and has published over 190 peer-reviewed papers, and over 70 chapters and other manuscripts. He has won outstanding research paper awards multiple times from the Cervical Spine Research Society and the North American Spine Society, as well as the Hibbs Outstanding paper award from the Scoliosis Research Society. He has operated in several countries and has served as a Visiting Professor, Grand Rounds Speaker, Key or Named Lecturer, over 100 times in over 19 countries on six continents. He has served and has been the Director or Chair of over 60 surgical courses, including ones sponsored by the Cervical Spine Research Society, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, North American Spine Society and the Scoliosis Research Society. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Cervical Spine Research Society for several years and served as President of Cervical Spine Research Society (the most prestigious society for Cervical spine disorders) from 2012-2013. He is also the Chair of AOSpine Research Commission (2012-2015). He was elected in 2014 to be the Chairman of AOSpine International from 2015-2018. AOSpine is the largest organization of spine surgeons in the world, with over 6,000 members. He is a member of the American Orthopaedic Association, the Interurban Orthopedic Club, and the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons, all honorary orthopedic societies. Click here to view Dr. Riew's complete CV. 

Clinical: Listed as a Vitals Top 10 Doctor (Dr. Riew is among the top 1% of the nations 870,000 active doctors who have received this honor, based on collective patient ratings and reviews from; Vitals Patients Choice Award 2014 (of the nation’s 870,000 active doctors, only 5 percent were accorded this honor by their patients in 2014), Listed in Best Doctors in America 2001-Present and America's Top Doctors 2002-Present; Patients’ Choice Award 2013 (Vitals) One of Missouri’s Favorite Physicians; Orthopedics This Week Journal's "Top 28 Spine Surgeons in North America" 2012, 2013: “He is an outstanding surgeon, teacher, and researcher. He is a leader in the cervical spine world, has done great research in this area, and has great vision. If someone says, ‘cervical spine surgery,’ you think of Dan.” “Top 18 Spine Surgeons in North America 2014“A brilliant cervical spine surgeon, he has defined many of the techniques we are utilizing. He has lectured extensively nationally and internationally, improving the treatment of these disorders in other portions of the globe.”  Barnes-Jewish Hospital Caring Spirit Award; New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center C. Richard Bowman Award “for human warmth, scientific endeavor and dedication to medicine.”; Washington University Faculty Practice Top 10% Clinician, 2011, 2012, 2014. 

Research: OREF Clinical Research Award; North American Spine Society Outstanding Paper Award 1999, 2000, 2003; Cervical Spine Research Society Outstanding Basic Science Paper Award 2000, 2009, Outstanding Clinical Science Award 2004, 2006 & Outstanding Poster 2006; American Association of Neurological Surgeons Mayfield Basic Science Award; Scoliosis Research Society Russell Hibbs Outstanding Paper Award; American Society of Spine Radiology Best Paper Award. Other: Washington University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Palma Chironis Teaching Award; Harvard College Ames Award for Character and Leadership;Chair-Elect, AOSpine International Board 2015-2018; President of Cervical Spine Research Society 2012-2013; Chair, AOSpine International Research Commission 2012-2015. 

Board Certifications

American Board of Internal Medicine, 1987; American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 1997; Recertified, 2008.

Medical Degree
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Internal Medicine, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center
General Surgery, Beth Israel Medical Center
Orthopaedic Surgery, George Washington University Medical Center

Cardiology, Cornell Medical Center
Biomechanics Research, Hospital for Special Surgery
Spine Surgery, Case Western Reserve University

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