Edwin E. Spencer Jr., MD, originally hails from the coast of North Carolina and completed his undergraduate education at North Carolina State University, graduating summa cum laude. He then graduated from Duke University School of Medicine with distinction. He completed his orthopaedic residency at the University of Michigan, graduating with honors, and then finished a fellowship in shoulder and elbow surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. While in residency and fellowship, he authored numerous research papers and book chapters and was inducted into the prestigious society of American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons. His subsequent research efforts won Dr. Spencer the Charles S. Neer Award, the highest award in shoulder surgery, in both 2011 and 2013.
Dr. Spencer specializes in all types of shoulder and elbow surgery. That includes replacements, revision replacements, reconstruction of the upper extremity, deformity cases, arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs, and all other forms of arthroscopic surgery. Dr. Spencer not only performs these surgeries, but also teaches courses for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons as well as at the Orthopaedic Learning Center. He also specializes in caring for the throwing athlete and treating baseball injuries.
Dr. Spencer has won many awards, including being voted by his shoulder surgeon peers as one of the "Top 28 Shoulder Surgeons" in the USA. He's also been voted a Knoxville "Top Doc" by Cityview Magazine, elected to the "Best Doctors in America" list, selected as a "Castle Connolly Top Doctor,"and been named a "Leader in Total Joint Replacement: Generation Next" by Orthopedics Today.
Dr. Spencer has helped design several different kinds of shoulder replacements, including a stemless shoulder replacement that is the first of its kind in the USA. He also worked to develop a glenoid component (cup side of the joint) that helps prevent bone loss. In addition, Dr. Spencer pioneered reconstruction of the sternoclavicular joint, and was awarded a patent for a proximal humeral fracture fixation device.
Dr. Spencer also continues his research with MOON (Multicenter Orthopaedic Outomes Network) which started more than a decade ago. The group most recently received NIH funding for a landmark study to evaluate the best method to treat atraumatic rotator cuff tears. This study involves 12 centers around the country.
Dr. Spencer has enjoyed becoming involved in the East Tennessee community. He has joined the Executive Board of the Great Smoky Mountain Council of the Boy Scouts of America with pride, as he is an Eagle Scout himself. He and his wife Tracey have two wonderful children who are involved with STAR (Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding) and Knox Youth Sports.
A note from Dr. Spencer
My practice strives to provide the highest quality and most compassionate patient-centered orthopaedic care. This begins by carefully listening to my patients as they describe the details of their particular ailments and understanding how these issues interfere with and limit their quality of life. Patient education is an important aspect of my practice philosophy. Medicine has become increasingly specialized and can often be very complex with the advent of more novel treatment options. In my experience, an informed patient who is well educated regarding their particular diagnosis is much more engaged and empowered throughout their treatment process. This ultimately improves their outcome.
To view Dr. Spencer's full CV (PDF format): Click here
DR. SPENCER and patient go mountain biking after surgery
Dr. Spencer and his patient, Knoxville attorney Don Vowell, were featured in a story after Vowell's total shoulder replacement: Read more
Dr. Spencer named one of 28 Top US Shoulder Surgeons
Dr. Edwin Spencer was named to the 28 Top US Shoulder Surgeons by Orthopedics This Week in 2012:Read more
The day I fell and broke the top of my humerus bone was one of the worst days of my life. I was initially sent to an orthopedist in my hometown and after consulting with them I felt it was in my best interest to choose another route. My uncle had used Dr. Spencer when he had his shoulder surgery and I knew how pleased he was so I decided to try and get an appointment at KOC. When I arrived for my appointment my arm was X-rayed. Dr. Spencer came in, looked at my arm and X-rays, and immediately explained that I had a bad break and that I needed surgery to repair the damage. I really didn’t know what to expect or if I would be able to ever use my arm properly again, but Dr. Spencer assured me that I would be as close to anatomically correct as before I broke my arm.
After my surgery Dr. Spencer came to my room to check and see how I was feeling and told me that I had broke the bone in multiple places and it was much worse than he had thought, but he had repaired it and I now have a plate with 11 screws. The following morning his PA Jeff Jarnagin came in and sat and talked to me about the surgery and what I would need to do and what to expect in the days ahead. He explained what exercises I needed to do until my follow up visit with Dr. Spencer.
After I came home I did exactly what I was supposed to do and after about a week it was amazing how my arm felt. The pain was not bad and the bruising was going away. I was actually able to return to work within a week or so as my job is desk work and doesn’t involve heavy lifting. After my second re-check Dr. Spencer told me I could start physical therapy and I have been going two times each week and my arm feels great. According to my therapist I’m almost back to normal range and I almost have full use of my arm again. I know I still have a ways to go still but it’s been only a little over three months and I’m doing great.
I am just so happy with Dr. Spencer and his staff at KOC. He is an amazing doctor and just cares so much about his patients. He has a great personality and is so easy to talk to about your health issues. Just let me say from the time I walked in to KOC and was greeted by the check-in clerks to the nurses, the X-ray technicians, the ladies who scheduled my surgery, Dr. Spencer, and the check-out clerks, I was treated so nice and with such respect and that means so much when you have experienced a traumatic injury and are in a lot of pain.
Dr. Spencer is the best doctor and I would highly recommend him to anyone who has problems or needs surgery on their arm. He is very confident and highly skilled and he took excellent care of me and I’m forever grateful to him.
– Connie, Sevierville
I had no noticeable pain with two shoulder replacements thanks to Dr. Spencer and his elite team. Sleeping and activities are pain free also. I can't say how much better daily life is, back to the honey-do list.
– Maurice, Bean Station
Thanks to my care at KOC, I can lead an active life again. I was having quite a lot of pain in my right shoulder and thought I had torn something, however it was determined that my shoulder needed to be replaced. Dr. Spencer did an outstanding job of fixing my shoulder. I had no pain at my 2 week post-op check up and had excellent range of motion. He used the new stemless replacement. This was my first time using KOC and the whole experience from the beginning and all the way through the process was exceptional. That includes their physical therapy group. Melissa has been my primary Physical Therapist and has also done an outstanding job helping me rehab my shoulder. I would highly recommend using Dr. Spencer if you have a shoulder problem and I would highly recommend using KOC.
– David, Knoxville
Thanks to my care by Dr. Spencer at KOC for a torn rotator cuff, I can live without the pain I experienced when I flipped an ATV. It has been 7 months since my accident and I am almost pain free!!!!! Best doctors in the Knoxville area!!!!!
– James, Knoxville
I can truly say that Dr. Edwin Spencer and his entire team are remarkable! I dealt with severe pain for over seven years. The pain was so bad that it keep me up at night. I reviewed many reviews of patients that had total shoulder surgery and the majority of them said the surgery left them in pain and that they were on narcotics to deal with their pain; which I was totally against. So I researched doctors all over the United States and found Dr. Spencer and read his review. He was ranked eighteenth in the United States. After a consultation it was clear I came to the right doctor. Dr. Spencer even had a special device developed to use for my surgery. I'm four months into my recovery and went from eight out of ten pain level to a pain level of 2 in that short time frame with a 90% range of motion restored. I would highly recommend Dr. Spencer and his PA Jeff Jarnagin. They are very professional and compassionate. I very much appreciate the entire team.
– Robert, Johnson City
Thanks to my care at KOC, I can live without pain. I’m 10 months out on my right shoulder and 4 months out on my left and the picture shows I’m getting better. Very grateful to Dr. Spencer and Jeff Jarnagin for fixing me up. I had delayed the procedure because all other doctors said I could not lift again, but Dr. Spencer said I could.
– Jon, Piney Flats
Thanks to my care at KOC, I can go about my daily tasks and responsibilities without any pain. Before my surgery I was in constant pain and had no strength to raise my arm above my head. Now I have a vertical range of motion that is greater than 160 degrees. The rehab went well. I had 12 sessions and gradually worked my way up to where I am today. I am 100% satisfied with my surgery. Thank you Dr. Spencer, I greatly appreciate you and your staff for the professionalism and care you have shown me. Truly God does His work through people like you!
– Joe, LaFollette
I just had bicep tenodesis surgery by Dr. Edwin Spencer at the Knoxville Orthopaedic Surgery Center. I can't express myself enough about the courteous staff and the doctor. I have had many surgeries and by far this has been my best experience in the way they treated me and my family. I traveled from Kingsport to have Dr. Spencer treat me and from my experience, I would recommend everyone with orthopaedic issues travel to KOC. They are truly the best around.
– Chris, Kingsport
"For 3 years I could not lift my left arm more than waist high in any direction. Lots of arthritis in the shoulder and the rotator cuff had been repaired several years before and was now mostly nonexistent. Thanks to my surgery by Dr. Edwin Spencer 16 weeks ago, I now have great range of motion, 160 degrees overhead, with no pain. Dr. Spencer and his team of Jeff Jarnagin, PA and staff have given me back the use of my arm that I thought I had lost forever. They are the very best! I am now considered a walking commercial for them."
– Horace, Crossville
"I am 84 years old and since my total shoulder replacement can feel and live without pain for the first time in over a year. Dr. Edwin Spencer is the best of the best! He and his staff are the most caring and dedicated folks I have ever witnessed. I have had only 4 pain pills in a two month period and am completely free of pain...I can work my garden and my roses now. Thank you Dr. Spencer! God bless you and your staff!"
– Lee Roy, Knoxville
B.S., North Carolina State University, Raleigh, 1992