Kevin Michael McGrail, MD| Spine Surgery, Neurosurgery | MedStar Health

Kevin Michael McGrail, MD
Provider is directly employed by MedStar Health

4.8 out of 5 (740 reviews)

Specialties: Spine Surgery, Neurosurgery

Languages: English

(202) 444-7333

About me

A faculty member since 1992, Kevin M. McGrail, MD, FAANS, FACS, has been chair of Neurosurgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Georgetown University School of Medicine since 2003. He treats both adult and pediatric patients.

Dr. McGrail received his medical degree from Tufts University in 1983, where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He completed his general surgery internship at the University of Maryland Hospital, followed by a residency in neurosurgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital. While there, Dr. McGrail was also a research fellow in neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. Subsequently, he received advanced specialized training in complex cranial and spinal surgery at the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. McGrail is a national leader in neurosurgery and an active researcher and educator. He has published extensively in numerous peer-reviewed journals and text books, and has served as a past chair of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons membership committee, and a president of the Washington, DC, Academy of Neurosurgery.
For at least 15 years, Dr. McGrail has been recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a "Top Doctor."

Philosophy of Care

My goal is to find the correct diagnosis for all of my patients and then provide the most appropriate, individualized therapy to ensure their continued health and well-being.

Clinical Areas of Focus

  • Brain Aneurysms
  • Brain Arterial Venous Malformations
  • Carotid Artery Disease
  • Spinal Disorders
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Microsurgery
  • Complex spinal surgery
  • Brain tumors

Clinical areas of focus

  • Aneurysm
  • Brain Neoplasms
  • Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA)
  • Deep Brain Stimulation
  • Herniated Disc
  • Parkinson's Disease (PD)
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spine Tumor
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Conditions and procedures

Conditions I treat

  • Acoustic Neuroma
  • Acromegaly
  • Anaplastic Oligoastrocytoma
  • Aneurysm
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Arachnoid Cyst
  • Arnold Chiari Malformation
  • Arterial Malformation Brain
  • Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)
  • Benign Neoplasm Of Brain
  • Berry Aneurysm
  • Brain Metastases
  • Brain Neoplasms
  • Carotid Stenosis
  • Cauda Equina Syndrome
  • Cavernous Hemangioma
  • Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA)
  • Cervical Compression Fracture
  • Cervical Deformity
  • Cervical Disc Degeneration
  • Cervical Disc Disease
  • Cervical Disc Displacement
  • Cervical Herniated Disc
  • Cervical Radiculopathy
  • Coccyx Fracture
  • Complex Spine Deformities
  • Congenital Scoliosis
  • Degenerative Spine Conditions
  • Dystonia
  • Epilepsy
  • Essential Tremor
  • Facial Spasm
  • Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
  • Flatback Syndrome Post Harrington Rods
  • Foot Drop
  • Glioma
  • Herniated Disc
  • Junctional Kyphosis
  • Lumbar Scoliosis
  • Lumbar Spine Stress Fracture
  • Lumbosacral Plexus Lesions
  • Lumbosacral Radiculopathy
  • Malignant Brain Neoplasm
  • Meningioma
  • Metastatic Brain Cancer
  • Moyamoya
  • Parkinson's Disease (PD)
  • Primary Brain Tumor
  • Prolactinoma
  • Scoliosis
  • Skull Base Tumor
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Spinal Cord Tumors
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spine Deformity
  • Spine Tumor
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spondylosis
  • Thoracic Herniated Disc
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
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Procedures I perform

  • Anterior Vertebral Body Tethering
  • Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery In The Cervical Spine
  • Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery In The Lumbar Spine
  • Biological Enhancement Of Spine Fusions
  • Cervical Decompression
  • Cervical Laminotomy
  • Cervical Spine Revision
  • Cervical Spine Steroid Injection
  • Cervical Spine Surgery
  • Complex Spine Surgery
  • Deep Brain Stimulation
  • Disc Arthroplasty
  • Disc Replacement
  • Facet Injection
  • Facet Surgery
  • Growing Rods
  • Instrumented Anterior Cervical Discectomy, Fusion (ACDF)
  • Magnetic Expansion Control
  • Mehta Casting
  • Microdiscectomy
  • Microsurgical Laminoplasty
  • Minimally Invasive Lumbar Discectomy
  • Minimally Invasive Partial Lumbar Discectomy
  • Minimally Invasive Spine Fusion
  • Occipito Cervical Fusion
  • Posterior Cervical Laminectomy And Fusion
  • Posterior Lumbar Laminectomy
  • Posterior Lumbar Laminectomy With Fusion, Without Instrumentation
  • Posterior Lumbar Laminectomy With Instrumentation And Fusion
  • Rigo Cheneau Bracing
  • Robotic Spine Surgery
  • Sacroiliac Joint Block
  • Sacroiliac Joint Fusion
  • Sacroiliac Joint Surgery
  • Schroth Therapy
  • Scoliosis Surgery
  • Spinal Abscess Surgery
  • Spinal Cord Surgery
  • Spinal Cyst Removal
  • Spinal Tethering For Scoliosis
  • Spine Deformity Correction Surgery
  • Spine Microsurgery
  • Spine Reconstruction
  • Spine Revision
  • Spondylosis Surgery
  • Surgery For Sciatica
  • Thoracic Laminectomy
  • Vertebrae Surgery
  • Vertebral Stapling
  • Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib
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Practice locations

Distance from Change LocationEnter your Location

3800 Reservoir Road Northwest
Pasquerilla Healthcare Center 7th Fl Neurosurgery
Washington, DC, 20007


Fax 202-444-7333

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miles away

Fax 202-444-7333


MedStar Health accepts most major health insurance plans. If you are uncertain as to whether your individual health insurance plan is accepted at MedStar Health, please call your insurance company.

  • List of insurance plans we accept
    • Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage Signature and Select (aka Senior Advantage)
    • Blue Choice Advantage & Healthy Blue (HMO, POS)
    • UnitedHealthcare and AARP Medicare Complete Plans/ UHC Group Medicare Advantage Plans HMO, POS, PPO
    • United Healthcare Options (PPO) (includes Empire PPO, GEHA, Compass Rose)
    • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Adv/Special Needs Plans
    • UHC Community Plan of MD
    • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS) (PPO)
    • Medicare Fee for Service
    • Kaiser Virginia Premier
    • Kaiser PermanenteSelect-Added Choice
    • Kaiser Permanente Signature-Added Choice
    • Kaiser Permanente Signature
    • Kaiser Permanente Select
    • Kaiser Permanente Medicare Plus (Medicare Supplemental Plan)
    • Kaiser Permanente Flexible Choice POS
    • Kaiser MD Medicaid MCO
    • CFBCBS Federal Employee Program (Std/Basic PPO/Blue Focus)
    • Aetna Innovations: HMO & EPO Plus
    • Select HMO/HealthFund/Health Network
    • Aetna HMO
    • Open POS II
    • Innovation Health: Open POS Plus
    • Choice POS & Choice POS II
    • Aetna Managed Choice Open Access (POS)
    • Open EPO Plus
    • Opoen HMO Option
    • Open HMO
    • Innovation Health: POS
    • Aetna HMO-Open Access/Select OA/HealthFund/Health Network Option OA
    • Innovation Health: Open Network Only Plus
    • Aetna Elect Choice/ Open Access (POS)
    • Innovation Health: POS Plus
    • Aetna Managed Choice (POS)
    • Innovation Health: PPO
    • Aetna Open Choice (PPO)
    • Innovation Health: Indemnity
    • Aetna Traditional Choice (PPO)
    • BlueChoice Open Access
    • CFBCBS Blue Choice Opt Out Open Access
    • HealthyBlue PPO
    • CFBSBC Blue Preferred PPO
    • Choice Fund PPO
    • PPO and PPO Plus
    • POS OA & OA Plus
    • Network OA
    • CIGNA HMO Open Access (OA)
    • United Healthcare Choice
    • Coventry Health Care National Network PPO
    • Aetna Worker's Compensation Network
    • Mamsi Life & Health (Indem./PPO)
    • Optimum Choice Preferred (POS) & OCI Direct (HMO)
    • M.D. IPA Preferred (POS)
    • M.D. IPA (HMO)
    • United Student Resources
    • United Healthcare Choice Plus
    • United Healthcare Select Plus (POS)
    • United Healthcare Select HMO - EPO/NPP
    • MedStar Select (MedStar Associates' Plan)
    • MedStar Family Choice - Maryland Health Choice
    • Tricare for Life (Medicare Supplemental Plan)
    • Tricare Prime
    • First Health PPO
    • Coventry of Delaware HMO/PPO
    • Coventry Health Care of Virginia
    • CIGNA Indemnity
    • Great-West Healthcare POS/CIGNA
    • CIGNA POS/Network POS
    • CIGNA HMO & Network (HMO)
    • CFBCBS (NCA) Indemnity
    • CFBCBS Maryland Indemnity or PPO
    • CFBCBS Maryland Point of Service Plan (MPOS)
    • CFBCBS Blue Choice Opt Out Plus Open Access (POS)
    • CFBCBS BlueChoice HMO
    • Aetna Medicare Advantage HMO & PPO Plans
    • Aetna Student Health Insurance
    • Aetna Quality Point of Service (POS)
    • Aetna Elect Choice/ EPO (Aetna Health Fund) Innovation Health: Network Only Plus


Board Certification: American Board of Neurological Surgery, Neurological Surgery

Fellowship Program: Mayo Clinic of Rochester (1991)

Residency Program: Mayo Clinic of Rochester (1991)

Residency Program: Massachusetts General Hospital (1990)

Fellowship Program: Massachusetts General Hospital (1985)

Internship Program: University of Maryland Medical Center (1984)

Internship Program: University of Maryland Medical Center (1983)

Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine (1983)


  • Washingtonian Magazine Top Doctor, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital multiple Caring Star Awards, The Paul A. Warren Award in Genetics, Tufts College, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, Tufts University School of Medicine

News and publications

Original papers:

1.  McGrail, K.M., Heros, R.C., Debrun, G., Beyerl, B.D.: Aneurysm of the petrous segment of the internal carotid artery.  J.  Neurosurg. 1986;65:249-252.

2.  McGrail, K.M., Sweadner, K.J.: Immunofluorescent localization of two different Na, K-ATPases in the rat retina and in identified dissociated retinal cells.  J.  Neurosci. 1986;6:1272-1283.

3.  McGrail, K.M., Beyerl, B.D., Black, P.M., Klibanski, A., Zervas, N.T.: Lymphocytic adenohypophysitis of pregnancy with complete recovery.  Neurosurgery. 1987;20:791-793.

4.  McGrail, K.M., Sweadner, K.J.: Complex expression patterns for Na, K-ATPase isoforms in retina and optic nerve.  Eur. J.  Neurosci. 1989;2:170-176.

5.  McGrail, K.M., Phillips, J.M., Sweadner, K.J.: Immunofluorescent localization of three Na, K-ATPase isozymes in the rat central nervous system: Both neurons and glia can express more than one Na, K-ATPase.  J.  Neurosci.  1991;11:381-391.

6.  Sweadner, K.J., McGrail, K.M., Khan, B.A.: Discoordinate regulation of isoforms of the Na.  K-ATPase and myosin heavy chain in the hypothroid postnatal rat heart and skeletal muscle.  J.  Biol.  Chem.  1992; 267:769-773. *

7.  McGrail, K.M., Muzzi, D.A., Losasso, T.J., Meyer, F.B.: Ventriculoatrial shunt distal catheter placement using transesophageal echocardiography.  Neurosurgery. 1992;30:747-9.

8.  Ogilvy, C.S., McGrail, K.M., Chapman, P.H.: Subdural empyema complicating bacterial meningitis in a child: Enhancement of membrane using gadolinium on MRI in patients without enhancement on computerized tomography.  Surg.  Neurol.  1992;37:138-141

9.  McGrail, K.M., Ojemann, R.G.: The surgical management of benign Intracranial meningiomas and acoustic neuromas in patients 70 years of age and older. Surg.  Neurol..  1994;42:2-7.

10.  Piepgras, D.G., McGrail, K.M., Tazelaar, H.D.: Intracranial dissection of  the distal middle cerebral artery as an uncommon cause of distal cerebral artery aneurysm. J. Neurosurg.  1994; 80:909-13.

11.  Winston, K.R., Ogilvy, C.S., McGrail, K.M.: Reduction Cranioplasty. Pediatr. Neurosurg.1995;22:228-234.  

12.  McGrail, K.M., Piepgras, D.G.: The management of giant vertebral artery aneurysms. J. Neurovasc.  Dis  1996;1:21-26.

13.  McGrail, K.M.: The intraoperative use of electroencephalography as an assessment of cerebral blood flow.  Neurosurg. Clin. of North America. 1996;7:685-692.

14.  Hunter, W.D., McGrail, K.M.: Staged resection of a large cavernous angioma in a 10 year old child.  J. Neurovasc. Dis. 1997;2:92-96. **

15.  Mashour, G.A.,. McGrail, K.M.: Nitic Oxide and the Pathogenesis of Cerebral Vasospasm. J. Neurovasc. Dis. 1997;2:202-205. **

16.  Watson, V., Coumans, J., McGrail, K., Guglielmi, G: Rupture of cerebral anuerysms during endovascular treatment with electrolytically detachable coils: Incidence, management, and outcome. J. Neurovasc. Dis.1998;3:269-275**

17.  Bhargava, P, McGrail, K.M., Manz, H.J., Baidas, S: Lung carcinoma metastatic to intracranial meningioma. Case report and review of  literature. Am. J. of Clin. Oncology  1999,22:199-202. **

18.  Coumans, J.V, Watson, V., Picken, C., McGrail, K.M.: Saphenous vein Interposition graft for recurrent carotid stenosis following prior  endarterectomy and stent placement. J. Neurosurg. 1999,90:567-570**

19.  Coumans, J.V., McGrail, K.M.: Aneurysms: To coil or clip?  Perspectives in Neurological Surgery. 1999;10:125-145. **

20.  Sandhu, F., McGrail, K.M.: The evaluation and management of acute low back pain. Emerg. Med. 1999;31:20-46.**

21.  Coumans, J.V., McGrail, K.M: Psychiatric presentation of carotid stenosis.  Surgery.  2000;127:713-715. **

22.  Coppa, N.D, Kim, H. J., McGrail, K.M.: Spontaneous resolution of Syringomyelia and Chiari malformation Type I in a patient with cerebrospinal fluid otorrhea. Case report. J. Neurosurg. 2006, 105; 769-761. **

23.  Huang, M.C., McGrail, K.M. Inceidental durotomy in cervical spinal surgery. Seminars in Spine Surgery. 2006, 18, 230-234. **

24.  Voyadzis, J.M., Panicker H, McGrail, K.M.: Kernohan’s phenomena resulting from a traumatic left acute subdural hematoma. Applied Radiology. 2007, 36. **

25.  Makuria, A.T., Rushing, E.J., McGrail, K.M., Hartmann, D.P., Azumi, N., Ozdemirli, M.: Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) in Adults: review of four cases. J. Neurooncol. 2008, 88, 321-330. **

26.  Thomas, J.A., Watson, V, McGrail, K.M.: Surgical Management of a Paraclinoid Aneurysm Containing a Misplaced Neuroform Microstent. Neurosurgery. 2008, 63, 817-818. **

27.  Eric Oermann, Brian T Collins, Kelly T Erickson, Xia Yu,1 Sue Lei, Simeng Suy, Heather N Hanscom, Joy Kim, Hyeon U Park, Andrew Eldabh, Christopher Kalhorn, Kevin McGrail, Deepa Subramaniam, Walter C Jean, and Sean P Collins: CyberKnife enhanced conventionally fractionated chemoradiation for high grade glioma in close proximity to critical structures. J Hematol Oncol. 2010; 3: 22 10.1186/1756-8722-3-22 **

28.  Lee, D.L., Binning, M.J., Shanmugam, V.K., Schmidt, R.H., Couldwell, W.T., Meyer, M., Cupps, T., Douglas, A, McGrail, K.M.: MUSLIN-INDUCED INTRACRANIAL VASCULOPATHIC STENOSIS: A REPORT OF TWO CASES. Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery. 2012, 114, 63-67. **

29.  Eric Karl Oermann, Rahul Bhandari, Viola J. Chen, Gabriel Lebec,2 Marie Gurka,2 Siyuan Lei,2 Leonard Chen,1 Simeng Suy,2 Norio Azumi,3 Frank Berkowitz,4 Christopher Kalhorn,1 Kevin McGrail,1 Brian Timothy Collins,2 Walter C. Jean,1 and Sean P. Collins2, Five Fraction Image-Guided Radiosurgery for Primary and Recurrent Meningiomas:* Front Oncol. 2013; 3: 213.

30.  Anaizi, A.N., Sayah, A.,  Berkowitz, F., McGrail, K.M.: Bowhunter's syndrome: the use of dynamic magnetic resonance angiography and intraoperative fluorescent angiography. J. Neourosurg: Spine: 2014, 20, 71-74. **

31.  Oermann EK, Murthy N, Chen V, Baimeedi A, Sasaki-Adams D, McGrail K, Collins SP, Ewend MG, Collins BT.: A Multicenter Retrospective Study of Frameless Robotic Radiosurgery for Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformation Front Oncol. 2014; 4: 298.

32.  Felbaum D1, Zhao DY1, Nayar VV1, Kalhorn CG1, McGrail KM1, Mandir AS2, Minahan RE2.Real-Time Evaluation of Anterior Choroidal Artery Patency During Aneurysm Clipping. Cureus. 2016 Feb 14;8(2):e495.

33.  Siu, A, Neal, CJ, Syed, H.R., Felbaum, DR, Nair, MN, McGrail, KM, Caputy, CJ, Shields, DC: Creating a Culture of Collaboration: A Brief History of Academic Neurosurgery in Washington, DC: Neurosurgery. 2017, 81:1029–1039

34.  Celano, EC, Anousheh, S, McGrail, KM: Cervical intradural disc herniation, case report and reflection on preoperative imaging. Radiol Case Rep. 2019, 14(9) 1076-1078

35.  Wang, JS, Ter Louw, RP, DeFazio, MV, McGrail, KM, Evans, KK: Subtotal calvarial vault reconstruction utilizing a customized polyetheretherketone (PEEK) implant with chimeric microvascular soft tissue coverage in a patient with syndrome of the trephined: A case report. Arch Plast Surg. 2019 Jul 46(4) 365-370

Ratings and reviews

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  • Likelihood of recommending this care provider to others

  • Dec 21, 2023

    Dr McGrail has been our surgeon for manyYears both my husband & myself have hadTo ask for help . We have to travel 21/3 hrsOr 3 hrs but he is definitely a fantastic surgeonHe really cares about his patients

  • Dec 5, 2023

    Seem like doc be reading from transcripts sometimes

  • Dec 5, 2023

    Dr. McGrail - excellent!