David A. Hanscom, MD

  • Spine Surgery
  • Orthopedics
Accepting New Patients
550 17th Ave.
James Tower, 5th Floor
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 320-2800
(206) 320-5250

General Information

I am an orthopedic spine surgeon who specializes in complex spinal surgery. I perform operations for scoliosis, kyphosis, and spondylolisthesis in adults and children. I also deal with fractures, infections, tumors, and patients who have had prior failed spine surgery. Over my more than 25 years of practice I have learned that only identifiable structural problems with matching symptoms respond to surgery. Structured rehabilitation adds tremendous value to spine care and can often help patients completely avoid surgical intervention. I have been instrumental in assembling a strong team with a wide depth of experience to minimize your pain and maximize your function.
  • Orthopedics
  • Spine Surgery
Education Background
Medical School: Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Residency: Sacred Heart Medical Center , Internal Medicine
Fellowship: John H. Moe Spinal Deformity, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Fellowship: UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA , Orthopedic Trauma
Residency: University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, Orthopedic
  • English
Personal Interests
I have been active in developing stress management strategies to present both in and out of my practice. My hobbies include snow skiing, golf, weight training, bird watching, and attempting to learn Italian.




Garland D, Hanscom DA, Keenan M, Smith C, Moore, T. Resection of heterotopic ossification in the adult with head trauma. J Bone and Joint Surg1985; 67A: 1261 –1269.

Hanscom DA. Acute management of the multiply injured head trauma patient. J head Trauma Rehab 1987; 2:1-12.

Hanscom DA, Bloom BA. The spine in osteogenesis imperfecta. Orthop Clin of North Am 1988; 19(2): 446-458.

Hanscom DA, Winter R, Lutter L, Lonstein JE, Bloom BA, Bradford D. Osteogenesis Imperfecta: Radiographic classification, natural history, and treatment of spine deformities. J Bone and Joint Surg 1991; 74A: 598-616. 

Cameron DE, Hanscom DA, Herring S. Rapid development of a spinal synovial cysts. Spine 1992; 17:1528-1530.

Carpenter C, Dietz J, Hanscom DA, Leung KYK, Wagner T. Repair of a Pseudarthrosis of the Lumbar Spine: A functional Outcome Study. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 1996; 78-A: 712-720.

Hanscom DA, Jex R. Sleep Disorders, Depression and Musculoskeletal Pain. SpineLine September/October 2001; 56-58.

Robinson J, Ricketts D, Hanscom DA. Musculoskeletal Pain. The Paths of Pain 2005; IASP Press, Seattle: 353-366.

Knight RZ, Schwaegler P, Hanscom DA, Roh J. Direct lateral lumbar interbody fusion for degenerative conditions: early complication profile. J Spinal Disord Tech. 2009; Feb;22(1):34-7.

Guyer RD, Shellock J, MacLennan B, Hanscom DA, Knight RQ, McCombe P, Jacobs J, Urban RM, Bradford D, Ohnmeiss DD. Early failure of metal-on-metal artificial disc prostheses associated with lymphocytic reaction: diagnosis and treatment experience in four cases. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2011; 36(7):E492-7.

Hussain N, Hanscom DA, Oskouian R. Chyloretropertoneum following anterior spinal surgery: report of 4 cases. Accepted for publication 2012.


Hanscom, DA; Sinter, R; Lutter; Lonstein, J; Bradford, D: Spinal deformity in osteogenesis imperfecta: Natural history and treatment. Orthop. Trans 11(1):120, 1987.


“The Cry of Chronic Pain-No One is Listening”. WSMA Preceptor, pp. 1-2, 3rd quarter, 2011.

“Back from the Edge: Coping with Physician Stress”. The Doctor’s Advocate, 4th quarter, 2011.

“Defining Solutions for Workers’ Comp: Ability and Motivation”. American Chronic Pain Association Chronicle, March 2012.

“A Surgeons’ Perspective on the Hoffman Process”. Staying Connected, March 2012.

“Physician Suicide: My Journey”. SpineLine, p. 42, November/ December, 2011.


Click here for research information.


Your Unconscious Brain Deals with Stress

March 29, 2015

Your unconscious brain processes data at an estimated one million times per second than your conscious brain and it evolved around avoiding anxiety. Every second of your body’s existence revolves around minimizing it regardless of what action is required. Lack of air, food, water, protection, and shelter all elicit a strong response, as well as many other lesser stresses. The chemical link is adrenaline and cortisol. They affect every one of the over 50 trillion cells in your body.

"Boy" Bullied - Do You Really Believe We are All Created Equal?

December 14, 2014
I was surprised to find out that one of my female patients was actually a male. Not exactly. She had Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS). She was severely bullied, which is a common theme amongst my patients. Here is story.

Clinical Experience

  • Orthopedics
  • Spine Surgery
Clinical Interests
  • Back/Spine Surgery
  • Cervical Spine Problems/Proc.
  • Cervical/Lumbar Degen. Disorders
  • Disc Problems
  • Lumbar Fusion
  • Lumbar Spine Trauma/Disease
  • Neck Injuries
  • Scoliosis - Adult/Pediatric
  • Scoliosis Surgery
  • Spinal Disorders
  • Spine Surgery
  • Thoracic Spine Trauma/Disease


Patient Ratings and Comments

The Patient Rating score is based on responses given during the CAHPS Patient Experience Survey. Responses are measured on a 10-point scale, with 10 being the best score. These scores are then translated to a 5-point scale in order to display results in a 5-star rating. Comments are also gathered from the same survey and displayed in their entirety with the exception of any language that may be considered slander, libel or contain private health information, which will be removed prior to publishing the comments.

4.4 out of 5 (45 Ratings, 9 Comments)


He had 0 bedside manner - He was very arrogant - He was only self serving his agenda & promoting his STUPID book that he WAS convinced applied to every person in front of him.

Although I'm sure Dr Hanscom is an expert in his field, it is clear he has a focus on chronic pain and i believe he sees all patients through that lens. I am getting a second opinion from another surgeon. I also felt talked-over, frustrated, and belittled during my visit.

Dr. Hanscom is one of the best Doctors I have met. Things would improve in his clinic if all the providers, bio feedback, counseling and other providers were in one place. Some are not covered by my insurance others are hard to get appointments with or hard to get to..

I would come back if I needed further work, but hopefully I won't.

Dr. Hanscom operated on my lumbar spine in 2007. I returned to see him since my back pain is becoming a problem for me. He spent time explaining his approach to back pain which differs greatly from his approach in 2007. I am in the early stages of working with Dr. Hanscom to reduce back pain and improve quality of life.

Dr. Hanscom provided me with a copy of his book which I had already been looking to purchase so that was very helpful for me and I am now reading his book and preparing to follow the instructions and hopefully regain my life and activities that have been too much to handle for many years. I feel his book is a roadmap for me to recover and move forward.

Thank You For The Enlightenment As To What Was Really Going On With My Hands Dr Handscom. [...]

He is very valuable for someone with a lot of pain problems. Most drs treat a specific body part and you are on your own Dr hanscom is looking and caring about all of me, joint, nerve pain - the whole deal - that doesn't have a lot of solutions and has ideas to help me get thru this life with this broken down body. He is unique and needs to be appreciated.

Dr. Hanscom is a compassionate, physician who cares deeply about the well-fair of his patients. He took time to explain a surgery procedure, and reviewed my CT results with me. Would have liked to have a few more minutes to firm-up the plan overall - but I was too tired from long wait in waiting room before exam.
550 17th Ave.
James Tower, 5th Floor
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 320-5250
Affiliated Facilities