Dr. Ali Baaj, MD

Dr. Ali Baaj, MD

Neurological Spine Surgery  |  
Male  |  
39 y/o

Accepting new patients

Dr. Baaj is neurosurgeon who specializes in spinal surgery, with advanced training and expertise in spinal oncology and complex reconstructive surgery for spinal deformity. He is accomplished in both minimally invasive spinal surgery and open complex spine surgery. Before joining the faculty at Weill Cornell, Dr. Baaj served as the director of the Spinal Neurosurgery Program at the University of Arizona at Tucson, where he led the clinical program and founded the multidisciplinary spine conference and spinal research fellowship program. Dr. Baaj was the neurosurgery faculty recipient of the Humanism in Medicine award in both 2013 and 2014 while at the University of Arizona. His commitment to and excellence in training and education has earned him faculty positions in several national and international spine training workshops and conferences. TRAININGDr. Baaj earned both Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Boston University before receiving his M.D. from the Boston University College of Medicine in 2004. He completed a general surgery internship at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, followed by a neurosurgical residency at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Dr. Baaj received further training as a Research Fellow at the Spinal Biomechanics Laboratory at St. Joseph's Hospital/Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix and as a Complex Spine Fellow at Johns Hopkins, with an emphasis on advanced techniques in spinal tumor resection and spinal reconstruction. He also completed a two-month traveling fellowship in Paris studying advanced techniques for pediatric deformity and scoliosis, with an emphasis on neuromuscular and idiopathic scoliosis. RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONSDr. Baaj has authored more than 100 abstracts, manuscripts, and book chapters, with an emphasis on spinal anatomy, minimally invasive spine surgery, and advanced surgical techniques. His research interests include spinal biomechanics and clinical outcomes studies. He serves on the editorial boards of Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery and the Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques. He is a peer reviewer for these journals as well as for the European Spine Journal and theInternational Journal of Spine Surgery. Dr. Baaj is also the lead editor of the Handbook of Spine Surgery, now in its 2nd edition.

Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Comprehensive Spine Care

240 E 59th St Fl 2

New York, NY 10022
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Accepted insurance

  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • EmblemHealth
  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • HealthFirst
  • Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Oxford Health Plans
  • UnitedHealthCare

Learn about Dr. Baaj

Care Philosophy

We are committed to delivering the best care and an exceptional patient experience. We are devoted to providing services that are patient-centered and compassionate, and care for you as a person. 
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Dr. Baaj's Experience

Dr. Baaj's experience matches your search based on the following criteria:
  • Based on total number of patients treated over the last 12 months
  • Specializes in Neurological Spine Surgery
  • Board certified in Neurosurgery
  • No malpractice claims found
  • No sanctions found
  • No board actions found


  • Neurological Spine Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Neurological Spine Surgery
  • Neurosurgery

Board Certifications

  • Neurosurgery
    Accredited by: American Board of Neurological Surgery*

Conditions Treated

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Brain Cancer
  • Brain and Nervous System Cancer (incl. Gliomas, Astrocytoma, Schwannoma, Medulloblastoma, Chordoma)
  • Broken Neck
  • Cancer
  • Cauda Equina Syndrome
  • Cerebral Artery Thrombosis
  • Cervical Spine Myelopathy
  • Chiari's Deformity
  • Compression Fracture
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Herniated Disc
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Kyphosis
  • Low Back Pain
  • Lumbar Herniated Disc
  • Lumbar Spine Fracture
  • Nerve Root Injury and Plexus Disorders (incl. Pinched Nerve)
  • Nerve Sheath Tumors
  • Osteoarthritis of Spine
  • Pathological Spine Fracture
  • Post-Laminectomy Syndrome
  • Radiculopathy (Not Due to Disc Displacement)
  • Scoliosis
  • Secondary Malignancies
  • Spinal Compression Fracture
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Spinal Cord Tumor
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spine Deformities
  • Spine Disorders
  • Spine Fractures, Traumatic
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
  • Subdural Hemorrhage
  • Thoracic Spine Fracture
  • Thoracic Spine Myelopathy
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Vertebral Column Tumors
  • Vertebral Fracture


Read More


  • Abscess or Fluid Incision and Drainage
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Shunt - Insertion, Repair or Removal
  • Complex Spine Surgery
  • Craniectomy, Craniotomy, Surgery of Skull Base, Neuroendoscopy
  • Dural Repair or Other Spinal Cord Repair
  • Epidural Block, Facet Blocks
  • Herniated Disc Surgery
  • Lamina Procedures (incl. Laminectomy, Laminoplasty, Laminotomy)
  • Neuroplasty
  • Spinal Compression Fracture Repair
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Spinal Reconstructive Surgery for Deformities
  • Spinal Tumor Surgery

Background Check

0 Malpractice Claims

No malpractice history found for New York.

0 Sanctions

No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.

0 Board Actions

No board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.


  • Boston University
    Undergraduate School | Graduated 1998
  • Boston University School Of Medicine
    Medical School | Graduated 2004
  • Johns Hopkins University Hospital
    Internship Hospital | Completed 2005
  • University Of South Florida Affiliated Hospitals
    Residency Hospital | Completed 2011
  • Barrow Neurological Institute
    Fellowship Hospital | Completed 2009
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital
    Fellowship Hospital | Completed 2012
  • University Of Paris / U.F.R. Of Medicine Necker-Enfants Malades
    Fellowship Hospital | Completed 2015

Awards & Recognition

Awards & Honors
  • Healthgrades Honor Roll
Media & Publications

Dr. Baaj has no media or publications listed.

Languages Spoken

  • English

Memberships & Professional Affiliations

Dr. Baaj does not have any memberships or affiliations listed. If you are Dr. Baaj and would like to add memberships or affiliations, please update your profile.

Dr. Baaj's Reviews

Likelihood of recommending Dr. Baaj to family and friends
based on 28 total reviews (18 with comments)
Dr. Baaj's Performance
  • Trustworthiness
  • Explains condition(s) well
  • Answers Questions
  • Time well spent
Office & Staff Performance
  • Scheduling
  • Office environment
  • Staff friendliness
  • Average wait time
    10 to 15 minutes
Patient Comments (18)
in New York, NY |
Excellent surgeon. I was on crutches when I was referred to Dr. Baaj, due to sciatica pain down the right side. Did not try to sell me on microdiscectomy but gave me the alternate choices. I was very nervous about back surgery but he explained the procedure with data and statistics for recovery. Day of the surgery, the nurse was very compassionate and had me at ease. Dr. Baaj also stopped by and spoke to me about the procedure again. Almost fully recovered now thanks to Dr. Ali Baaj.
in Florida |
If you are facing spinal surgery, look no further. You have found the right surgeon, office staff and hospital. Dr. Baaj is not merely an extraordinary surgeon, he is compassionate, efficient and prompt. His PA, Samantha, and entire staff are incredibly responsive and reflective of Baaj himself. I found Dr. Baaj forthright in his explanations and expectations and felt that I was being heard at every step along the way.
in Miller Place, NY |
Dr. Baaj was very helpful , kind and pleasant . I felt comfortful and relaxed in his company . The Dr. answered all my questions and was very honest with the responses. This was my first visit with Dr . Baaj and I got a very good impression of him and his skills. I would recommend this dr to anyone who needs a Spine Surgeon.
Excellent experience in every way! After several weeks of pain and leg numbness due to a severely herniated disc, I woke up completely pain free immediately after the surgery. Most of the numbness was also gone. Great doctor and great staff!
in Berkeley Heights, NJ |
Absolutely excellent experience from all viewpoints, especially the result. I had back surgery for stenosis. Now I am free of pain and the recovery was just a couple of weeks.
in New York, NY |
Dr. Baaj saved me from almost being paralyzied and not being able to walk. I have no words to express my gratitude for Dr. Baaj and his team. Kind, confident and compassionate and excellent surgeon. I will always be grateful for the rest of my life. Thank you Dr. Baaj for being an excellent surgeon and human being and for your amazing team.
in Astoria, NY |
I can't say enough about how positive my experience with Dr. Baaj was. From the moment we met he was confident without being arrogant, and explained everything I needed to know with patience and understanding. His bedside manner was outstanding compared to other capable surgeons that I had met. His experience spoke for itself but he truly exceeded my expectations. He did a fantastic job with my surgery. He was consistently present throughout my hospital stay and follow up. Thank you!
in New York, NY |
Despite severe arm & shoulder pain thanks to ruptured disks, I avoided surgery for 10 yrs because supposedly it would be risky. After P. Manning had surgery for ruptured disks and returned to the NFL, I decided to go for it. The surgery was anything but traumatic, and 3 months later I returned to daily running, despite a 4-inch incision in my throat & some serious hardware bolted into my spine. I credit Dr. Baaj, whose confidence, good humor, & acumen stood out from other neurologists.
in New York, NY |
Dr Baaj not only gave me my life back, because crushing nerve pain had stolen any semblance of life for me to live, but seeing how much pain I was in, went way out of his way to add me in for surgery to an already crowded schedule right away. I'm a new woman with a future all thanks to him and his kind staff. I can't thank him enough, he was amazing. Words just fail to describe the difference his surgery made to me.
New York, NY |
I have two bad herniations in my lumbar spine region which after going through a couple of years of non-surgical treatments have gotten bad to the point I can't sit, walk or even lie down without pervasive pain. I requested an appointment with Cornell Weill, and even got a new MRI at their request. Without even ever talking to me Dr. Baaj decides that I can't get an appointment to go over potential surgical options. Can't talk to his skill, but that leaves a pretty bad taste in my mouth.
in Manhasset, NY |
One of the difficult decisions you have to make is to live with back pain or take a chance and have an operation. I was diagnosed with a synovial cyst in my spine as well as stenosis L3 to L5. I cannot recommend Dr. Baaj more highly. His professional staff made me feel comfortable and confident. He did not rush me out and explained the procedure. Most importantly I am three weeks past surgery and I am much better with an excellent prognosis for a full recovery. Great doctor and great staff!
in New York, NY |
Dr. Baaj saved my life after I was struck by a taxi while crossing the street. I am sure I would not be functioning today if it were not for him.
in Palm Beach, FL |
Dr. Baaj performed a micro discectomy on me five months ago. I was in and out of the hospital in one day. It is five months later and my pain had substantially subsided. His manner, staff, offices and professionalism were all equally excellent. I would recommend him to anyone and already have.
in Sunnyside, NY |
Excellent care.
in Jamaica, NY |
Dr. Ali Baaj performed a laminectomy and fusion on my spine, which was no longer allowing me the quality of life I had been accustomed to for many years. It was very difficult and depressing being in pain and not able to lead my very active life. Meeting Dr. Ali Baaj was the best thing that could of happened to my life! I am deeply grateful to Dr. Ali Baaj and his extraordinary team at Weil Cornell Brain & Spine. I would like to express my gratitude and thank you from the bottom of my heart!
in Jamaica, NY |
In January, 2016 Dr. Ali Baaj performed a laminectomy and fusion on my spine, which was no longer allowing me the quality of life. It was very difficult and depressing being in pain and not able to lead my very active life. Meeting Dr. Ali Baaj was the best thing that could of happened to my life! I am deeply grateful to Dr. Ali Baaj and his extraordinary team at Weil Cornell Brain & Spine. I would like to express my gratitude and thank you from the bottom of my heart!
in New York, NY |
Dr. Baaj performed surgery to remove a lesion from my thoracic spine on Decenber 7, 2015. From the outset I found him to be a personable man, sensitive and kind. He explained everything with great clarity and took his time answering my questions. He visited me 3 times during my 2-day hospital stay and stayed until all of my concerns were addressed. Dr. Baaj is a wonderful surgeon and a fine man who guided my wife and me through a very difficult period. We are extremely grateful.
in New York, NY |
Excellent explanation of problem, options, expected results. Ttoo difficult to schedule prompt follow-up appointment while in severe pain; little or no relief from regimen of potent pain-medication (Oxycontin). Could not get follow up apt in less than 3 weeks after visit with (Michael Sein, MD, notwithstanding unacceptable level of pain and inability to move around.Cannot stand, sit, lie down or walk. Use of crutch only minimally helpful. Staff not helpful in scheduling earlier appt.
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Now Accepting New Patients
Dr. Baaj accepts 9 insurance carriers
  • Aetna
    Aetna HMO
    Choice Plus POS II
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
    Blue Card PPO
  • Cigna
    Cigna HMO
    Cigna PPO
    Open Access Plus
  • EmblemHealth
    Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York (HIP) PPO
  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield
    Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO
  • HealthFirst
  • Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
    Community Blue PPO
  • Oxford Health Plans
    Freedom Plan
  • UnitedHealthCare
    Choice Plus POS
    Navigate HMO
    Navigate POS
    Options PPO
    Oxford Liberty

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