Kee D. Kim, M.D. for UC Davis Health

Kee D. Kim, M.D.

Chief, Spinal Neurosurgery

Co-Director, UC Davis Spine Center


To see if Kee D. Kim is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).



Neurological Surgery

Spine Surgery

Locations and Contact

Cannery Building

Spine Center
3301 C St.
Sacramento, CA 95816

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Additional Numbers

Clinic Phone


Physician Referrals

800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Clinical Interests

Dr. Kim is professor of neurological surgery and the chief of spinal neurosurgery. He has a special interest and expertise in challenging spinal disorders requiring surgical treatment. He has vast experience in complex spine surgery, regardless of etiology, including tumor, infection, degenerative spine and trauma. He is at the forefront of robotic-assisted surgery, minimally invasive surgery and spinal instrumentation.

As a co-director of the UC Davis Spine Center, Dr. Kim is involved in multiple clinical trials as a primary investigator. He innovates and evaluates different cutting-edge technology to advance the field. Recent examples include the use of stem cells for disc regeneration and bony healing, the use of biomaterials and pharmaceutical agents for spinal cord injuries, and clinical evaluations of artificial disc and other implants. His research focuses on using the advances in different fields to bring about tangible improvement in patient care and surgical outcome.

He also devotes much of his time and resources to further the training of other surgeons, both locally and abroad. He has trained many residents and fellows who have gone on to become spine specialists in their respective fields. He has published over hundred manuscripts and book chapters dealing with myriad of spinal disorders. As a widely recognized expert, he has spoken at many national and international meetings.  Dr. Kim's primary focus, however, remains providing the best possible care to his patients.


Neurological Surgery

Center/Program Affiliation

Spine Center

Undergraduate School

B.S., Yale University, New Haven CT 1986

Medical School

M.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore MD 1992


UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento CA 1992-1993


UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento CA 1993-1998


UCLA, Los Angeles CA 1997-1998

America's Most Honored Doctors Inaugural Award, The American Registry; catalogue of the largest repository of doctor ratings and awards, 2020

Regional Top Doctor, Castle Connolly, 2020

Top Doctors, Sacramento Magazine, 2020

Spine Surgeons to Know - Becker’s Spine Review, 2016

The Best Doctors In America 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Spine Surgeons on the Forefront of Biologics & Stem cells, Becker’s Spine Review, 2015

The Charles D. Ray Award - Best Clinical Paper, International Society of Advancement Spine Surgery, 2014

Spine Surgeon Leader to Know - Becker’s Spine Review, 2013

Amirdelfan K, Bae H, McJunkin T, DePalma M, Kim K, Beckworth WJ, Ghiselli G, Bainbridge JS, Dryer R, Deer TR, Brown RD. Allogeneic Mesenchymal Precursor Cells Treatment for Chronic Low Back Pain Associated with Degenerative Disc Disease: A Prospective Randomized, Placebo-Controlled 36-Month Study of Safety and Efficacy. Spine J. 2020 Oct 9:S1529-9430(20)31141-4. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2020.10.004. Epub ahead of print. PMID:33045417.

Karanti, T, Kulubya ES, Kim KD. Advances in the Management of Spinal Durotomy. Medical Research Archives. 2020 Sep;8(9). doi:10.18103/mra.v8i9.2190.

Kim KD, Panchal R, Moldavsky M, Wang W, Bucklen BS. Effects of pre-contoured and in situ contoured rods on the mechanical strength and durability of posterior cervical instrumentation: a finite-element analysis and scanning electron microscopy investigation. Spine Deform. 2020 Aug;8(4):569-576. doi:10.1007/s43390-020-00078-5. Epub 2020 May 19. PMID:32430793.

Yoon JW, Welch RL, Alamin T, Lavelle WF, Cheng I, Perez-Cruet M, Fielding LC, Sasso RC, Linovitz RJ, Kim KD, Welch WC. Remote Virtual Spinal Evaluation in the Era of COVID-19. Int J Spine Surg. 2020 Jun 30;14(3):433-440. doi:10.14444/7057. PMID:32699768.

Thind H, Ramanathan D, Ebinu J, Copenhaver D, Kim KD. Headache Relief Is Maintained 7 Years After Anterior Cervical Spine Surgery: Post Hoc Analysis From a Multicenter Randomized Clinical Trial and Cervicogenic Headache Hypothesis. Neurospine. 2020 Jun;17(2):365-373. doi:10.14245/ns.2040004.002. Epub 2020 Jun 30. PMID:32615697.

Goodarzi A, Clouse J, Capizzano T, Kim KD, Panchal R. The Optimal Surgical Approach to Intradural Spinal Tumors: Laminectomy or Hemilaminectomy? Cureus. 2020 Feb 23;12(2):e7084. doi:10.7759/cureus.7084. PMID:32226685.

Medani K, Lawandy S, Schrot R, Binongo JN, Kim KD, Panchal RR. Surgical management of symptomatic Tarlov cysts: cyst fenestration and nerve root imbrication-a single institutional experience. J Spine Surg. 2019 Dec;5(4):496-503. doi:10.21037/jss.2019.11.11. PMID:32043000.

Beack JY, Chun HJ, Bak KH, Choi KS, Bae IS, Kim KD. Risk Factors of Secondary Lumbar Discectomy of a Herniated Lumbar Disc after Lumbar Discectomy. J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2019 Sep;62(5):586-593. doi:10.3340/jkns.2019.0085. Epub 2019 Aug 30. PMID:31484233.

Ament JD, Thaci B, Yang Z, Kursumovic A, Bostelmann R, Lanman T, Patrick Johnson J, Fröhlich S, Kim KD. Postoperative direct health care costs of lumbar discectomy are reduced with the use of a novel annular closure device in high-risk patients. Spine J. 2019 Jul;19(7):1170-1179. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2019.02.010. Epub 2019 Feb 15. PMID:30776485.

Lee CC, Hirasawa N, Garcia KG, Ramanathan D, Kim KD. Stem and progenitor cell microenvironment for bone regeneration and repair. Regen Med. 2019 Jul;14(7):693-702. doi:10.2217/rme-2018-0044. Epub 2019 Aug 8. PMID:31393221.