Our Physicians

Edwin E. Spencer, Jr., M.D.

Shoulder & Elbow Surgery Specialist


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

Dr. Spencer's Team

Pictured left to right - Jeff Jarnagin, PA-C, Andrea PartonEdwin E. Spencer, Jr., MD


Contact Information

Office Info KOC: 865-558-4400
Appointments: 865-558-4444
Office Location

Fort Sanders West

North Knoxville Medical Center Physician's Plaza

Administrative Assistant

865-450-1227 or internal ext 4227


865-450-1240 or internal ext 4240


Dr. Spencer's Videos


                                                                                                    Video clip used by permission from The Dr. Bob Show.



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What patients say about Dr. spencer

  • 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
  • "I am 33 y.o. and unfortunately, I have avascular necrosis. Due to this illness, I have had to have multiple surgeries. Dr. Edwin Spencer has operated on me 4 times over the past 3 years (2 shoulder core decompressions and 2 partial shoulder replacements). I have nothing but great things to say about his skill as a surgeon. All of my surgeries went perfectly and because of him, I am still able to work as a firefighter with no restrictions. I was treated with great respect every time I visited the office by him and all of the staff. He and his PAs took time to sit and talk with me and explain all the details of my illness and the procedures that should be performed. I would recommend him to anyone needing orthopedic care on the shoulder or elbow. What he and his team did for me is nothing short of a miracle in my mind."
    – Kevin, Knoxville
  • "Thanks to Dr. Edwin Spencer at KOC, I can continue officiating high school football and being an active Papaw! Dr. Spencer laid out a plan from surgery through PT to repair my rotator cuff and got me ready to go! I sure appreciate his personal and professional care!!"
    – Wayne, Kingston
  • "I had a fall in May, 2012 and after that time I was never without some type of pain. I had a full rotator cuff repair in August, 2012 and a manipulation in April, 2013. After the manipulation in April, the pain became more intense and almost unbearable at times. I saw Dr. Edwin Spencer around August, 2013 and he scheduled an MRI and then surgery on December 13, 2013. At my follow-up appointment, Dr. Spencer advised that I might be a candidate for shoulder replacement in the "near" future. I hate to disagree with him as he is the expert, but I do not think I will ever have to have surgery on my right shoulder again. I can, for the first time since May 2012, raise my right arm over my head without any pain at all, lift, carry and do almost everything I did before the fall, without the pain. He is definitely the surgeon I refer all my friends, family and even enemies to. Dr. Edwin Spencer is great!!"
    – Sandy, Maryville
  • "Thanks to my rotator cuff repair surgery by Dr. Edwin Spencer at KOC, I can now move on again. I am 8 weeks out and did a 15k trail race with an age group win. Looks like the Black Mountain Marathon will happen for me in February! Thank you for the prompt care that I received, Dr. Spencer. I will post again when I'm able to start lifting. Cheers!"
    – - Kellie, Asheville
  • "Thanks to my care at KOC, I can say that my arm is as good as new. Dr. Edwin Spencer operated on my shoulder, for a torn Rotator Cuff. It's been at least 5 years since the surgery. I tell everybody he's the man if you have a torn rotator cuff. I know several people that had to have their surgery redone. After I completed the physical therapy, my shoulder was as good as new. I couldn't be happier with the results. Plus, Dr Spencer is very nice and he takes time to talk to you. I wish he could be my primary physician."
    – Marsha, Maynardville


  • B.S., North Carolina State University, Raleigh, 1992
  • M.D., Duke University, Durham, 1996

Surgical Internship

  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1997


  • Shoulder & Elbow Fellowship, Cleveland Clinic, 2002

Began Practice At KOC

  • 2002

Board Certification

  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery


  • 5 Research Grants
  • Over 50 invited national and regional lectures
  • Over 30 peer reviewed published articles

OrthopAedic Specialty