Zachary Tempel, MD

Chief Resident

Zach Tempel




Zachary J. Tempel, MD, graduated summa cum laude from Miami University in 2006 with degrees in zoology and french. In 2010, he received his medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine. During medical school, Dr. Tempel was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha as a junior. Additionally, he was awarded the inaugural Julius M. Goodman scholarship for excellence in neurological surgery.

As a senior medical student, Dr. Tempel was selected as a Pittman Surgical Scholar for academic achievement in surgery.

During his PGY-5 and PGY-6 years, Dr. Tempel completed a two-year enfolded spine fellowship focusing on minimally invasive techniques and complex spinal deformity under the direction of D. Kojo Hamilton, MD, Adam Kanter, MD, and David Okonkwo, MD, PhD.

Dr. Tempel—born and raised in Indianapolis, Ind.—is married to Claire Tempel, an audiologist at UPMC and enjoys traveling, scuba diving, soccer and other outdoor activities.

Dr. Tempel's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Minimally invasive spine surgery; degenerative spine conditions, scoliosis and complex spinal deformity; outcome measures and cost-effectiveness in spine surgery; biomechanics and spinopelvic alignment; traumatic brain injury and concussions.

Professional Organization Membership

Alpha Omega Alpha
American Association of Neurological Surgeons 
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
Society of Lateral Access Surgery

Honors & Awards

  • NuVasive Young Investigator Award, SOLAS Annual Research Meeting, 2016
  • Charlie Kuntz Scholar Award, CNS/AANS Joint Spine Section, 2016
  • Runner-up Presentation Award, Stuart Rowe Research Day, 2014
  • Inaugural Julius M. Goodman Award in Neurosurgery 2010
  • Pittmann Surgical Scholarship 2010
  • BT Maxam Scholarship, 2009
  • Class of 1961 William K. Nasser Scholarship, 2008
  • Joseph, Samuel and Donald Ferrara Scholarship, 2007
  • ED Johns Fellowship, 2007
  • Summa Cum Laude, Miami University, 2005
  • W.R. Krickenberger Memorial Scholarship, 2003
  • William Marion Miller French Scholarship, 2004
  • L.H. Skinner Memorial French Award, 2005
  • Culler Physics Award, 2005

Selected Publications

Gandhoke GS, Ricks C, Tempel Z, Zuckerbraun B, Hamilton DK, Okonkwo DO, Kanter AS. Mini-open anterior lumbar interbody fusion. Neurosurg Focus 41 Video Suppl 1:1, 2016.

Tempel Z, Zhu X, McDowell MM, Agarwal N, Monaco EA 3rd. Severe intradural lumbar disc herniation with cranially-oriented free fragment migration. World Neurosurg pii: S1878-8750(16)30409-0, 2016.

Kanter AS, Tempel ZJ, Ozpinar A, Okonkwo DO. A Review of Minimally Invasive Procedures for the Treatment of Adult Spinal Deformity. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 41 Suppl 8:S59-65, 2016.

Gandhoke GS, Shin HM, Chang YF, Tempel Z, Gerszten PC, Okonkwo DO, Kanter AS. A Cost-Effectiveness Comparison Between Open Transforaminal and Minimally Invasive Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusions Using the Incremental Cost-Effectiveness Ratio at 2-Year Follow-up. Neurosurgery 78(4):585-95, 2016.

Salvetti DJ, Tempel ZJ, Gandhoke GS, Parry PV, Grandhi RM, Kanter AS, Okonkwo DO. Preoperative prealbumin level as a risk factor for surgical site infection following elective spine surgery. Surg Neurol Int 6(Suppl 19):S500-3, 2015.

Stone JG, Panczykowski DM, Tempel ZJ, Tormenti M, Kanter AS, Okonkwo DO. Evaluation of Occipitocervical Arthrodesis Rates with Screw-based Fixation and Osteoinductive Fusion Adjuncts. J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg 76(5):361-8, 2015.

Tempel ZJ, Bost JW, Norwig JA, Maroon JC. Significance of T2 Hyperintensity on Magnetic Resonance Imaging After Cervical Cord Injury and Return to Play in Professional Athletes. Neurosurgery 77(1):23-30; discussion 30-1, 2015.

Tempel ZJ, Gandhoke GS, Bolinger BD, Okonkwo DO, Kanter AS. Vertebral body fracture following stand-alone lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF): report of two events out of 712 levels. Eur Spine J 24 Suppl 3:409-13, 2015.

Tempel ZJ, Gandhoke GS, Okonkwo DO, Kanter AS. Impaired bone mineral density as a predictor of graft subsidence following minimally invasive transpsoas lateral lumbar interbody fusion. Eur Spine J 24 Suppl 3:414-9, 2015.

Tempel ZJ, Gandhoke GS, Bonfield CM, Okonkwo DO, Kanter AS. Radiographic and clinical outcomes following combined lateral lumbar interbody fusion and posterior segmental stabilization in patients with adult degenerative scoliosis. Neurosurg Focus 36(5):E11, 2014.