David Hanscom, MD

Dr. David Hanscom is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in the surgical correction complex problems in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. He has expertise in adult and pediatric spinal deformities such as scoliosis and kyphosis. A significant part of his practice was devoted to performing surgery on patients who had undergone multiple prior spine surgeries. 

He quit his clinical practice in 2018 to pursue teaching patients and medical providers how to solve chronic pain. He is the focusing his efforts on bringing effective medical treatments for chronic mental and physical pain back into mainstream medicine. He has published several books and is developing resources for patients and providers to make the best decisions about their care with regards to chronic disease. 

His books are:

Do You Really Need Spine Surgery? Take Control with a Surgeon’s Advice (2019)

Back in Control: A Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain, 2nd edition (2016)

Back in Control: A Spine Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain (2012)

Structured Spine Care

Since 2006, he has employed a structured spine treatment protocol evolved from his medical expertise and his own experience escaping from chronic pain. His boo, Back in Control: A Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain explains the basis of the program. His website, www.backincontrol.com, is the action plan for his DOC project (Direct your Own Care). Even patients with surgical problems often experience resolution of their pain without an operation. His most recent book, Do You Really Need Spine Surgery?, combines the anatomical factors with the state of the nervous system and enables all parties to make a good decision about undergoing spine surgery.

Until 2018, Dr. Hanscom was co-director of Swedish Neuroscience Specialists Spine Fellowship, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA. He received his medical degree from Loma Linda University in 1979 and completed residencies in internal medicine and orthopedic surgery. He did an orthopedic trauma fellowship at UC Davis in Sacramento, CA; a spinal deformity fellowship in Minneapolis, MN, and has been performing complex spinal surgery since 1986.

He founded the Puget Sound Spine Society in 1987 as a regional forum for physicians from multiple specialties to share ideas regarding optimum spine care. He co-founded Awake at the Wound, a program that applies athletic performance principles to the surgeon and OR staff to prevent professional burnout. His program Optimizing Physician Performance has been incorporated into the core training for the fellows and residents.  

Author of

Anxiety: Another Name for Pain

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