Mark E. Oppenlander, M.D.

Mark E. Oppenlander, M.D.

Clinical Associate Professor, Neurological Surgery
Clinical Associate Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery


Dr. Mark Oppenlander is a board certified neurosurgeon and clinical associate professor at the University of Michigan Departments of Neurological Surgery and Orthopaedic Surgery. He specializes in complex spinal operations, including spinal deformity, scoliosis, spinal tumors, thoracic disc disease, craniovertebral junction surgery, robotics in neurosurgery, and more. 

Dr. Oppenlander attended the University of Michigan, where he graduated with Highest Distinction and a Bachelor of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology. He went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. In 2008, Dr. Oppenlander moved to Phoenix, Arizona where he completed a seven year residency training program in Neurological Surgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI). He also spent time at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, where he obtained fellowship training in Complex Spine Surgery. In addition, Dr. Oppenlander was awarded the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Overseas Training Sponsorship, providing opportunity to travel to London, England for further fellowship training in Complex Spine Surgery and Spinal Oncology at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery at Queen Square.

Dr. Oppenlander has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and abstracts, and participated in conferences at the state, national, and international level with multiple invited presentations. He serves as faculty for the AANS Coding and Reimbursement Committee, and is an Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant for the National Football League (NFL). Dr. Oppenlander is an active member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), the North American Spine Society (NASS), the AANS/CNS joint section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves, as well as a candidate member of the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS). He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his family.

Clinical Interests

  • Spinal Deformity: Role of sagittal balance in quality of life measures, prevention of proximal junctional kyphosis 
  • Thoracic Disc Disease: Optimal approaches, instrumentation techniques
  • Pathology of the Craniovertebral Junction: Pediatric and adult craniovertebral junction trauma, advances in instrumentation techniques
  • Robotics in Neurosurgery: Robotic integration of the operating microscope with image guidance, robotic implantation of spinal pedicle screws
  • Spinal Oncology: Extent of tumor resection, role for adjuvant therapy, novel approaches to the spine

Honors & Awards

  • The Endocrine Society Research Fellowship (Ann Arbor, MI): 2002
  • James B. Angell Scholar, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI: 2003
  • University Honors, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI: 2001-2004
  • Student Biomedical Research Fellowship (Heidelberg, Germany): 2005
  • The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh overseas trainee sponsorship: 2014



University of Michigan, Cellular and Molecular Biology, BS, 2004

Medical School

University of Michigan, MD, 2008


Neurological Surgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, 2015


  • Complex Spine Surgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, 2011
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery: Gamma Knife, Cyberknife, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, 2012
  • Complex Spine Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, 2013
  • Complex Spine Surgery: Spinal Oncology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, England, 2014


A complete list of Dr. Oppenlander's current grant support is located here.

Published Articles or Reviews

A complete list of Dr. Oppenlander's recent publications is located here.