Daniel J. Blizzard, MD

Spine Surgeon, Available Aug 2018

Dr. Daniel J. Blizzard is a fellowship-trained Spine Surgeon specializing in comprehensive spinal surgical care ranging from minimally-invasive and motion- sparing techniques, robotic-assisted and navigated surgery, scoliosis and deformity surgery, and revision surgical treatment.

Dr. Blizzard was raised in Liberty Lake, WA and graduated valedictorian of his class from Central Valley High School. He then attended the University of Washington on academic scholarships from the Gates Foundation and the Washington NASA Space Grant, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in Bioengineering. Dr. Blizzard attended medical school at Yale University where he was selected as a Doris Duke Research Fellow for his work investigating osteobiologics and 3D-MRI in spine surgery. After medical school, he completed his general surgery internship and orthopaedic surgery residency at Duke University in Durham, NC. He then graduated from the combined Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Spine Surgery Fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, GA performing complex surgical care at the Emory University Hospitals, Grady Memorial Hospital (the busiest Level 1 trauma center in the country), and the Atlanta Veterans Administration Hospital.

Dr. Blizzard has a specific interest in the development and utilization of new diagnostic and surgical techniques with the goal of reducing the pain, recovery time, and longterm morbidity associated with traditional spine surgery.  Throughout his training Dr. Blizzard pursued these interests, leading dozens of studies assessing the clinical efficacy of new minimally-invasive fusion techniques, robotic-assisted spine surgery, 3D-realtime intra-operative navigation, motion-sparing techniques for cervical spine pathology, and the identification and prevention of complications in spine surgery. Dr. Blizzard has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles in journals including Spine, The Spine Journal, The Journal of Neurosurgery, and the European Spine Journal and has presented his work over 50 times at the podiums of national and international spine meetings.

 Dr. Blizzard has returned to the Pacific Northwest to join Axis Spine Center because of their unique approach to comprehensive spine care. Although his technical expertise is in surgery, Dr. Blizzard believes the most important factors for patient satisfaction, pain relief, and return to activities are accurately determining the type and timing of treatments and openly discussing the treatment options with patients to determine a collaborative plan. Most patients with a neck or back problem can experience complete or near-complete resolution of their symptoms without the need for surgery through the use of non-operative treatment modalities. Dr. Blizzard chose to join Axis Spine Center due to their ability to offer this comprehensive care to patients without the delays in treatment and communication challenges between providers and specialties that he experienced throughout his career.

Education:

  • MD, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
  • MHS, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
  • BS, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
    – Magna cum laude, Full College Honors, Dean’s Medal Nominee

Specialty Training:

  • Fellowship—Orthopaedic and Neurological Spine Surgery, Emory
    University, Grady Memorial Hospital and Atlanta VAMC, Atlanta, GA
  • Residency—Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University, Durham, NC
  • Internship—General Surgery, Duke University, Durham, NC

Boards and Certifications:

  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery—Board Eligible

Organizations and Affiliations:

  • AOSpine International
  • North American Spine Society
  • Candidate Member of the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery

Academic Appointments:

  • Clinical Instructor—Emory University School of Medicine
  • Course Instructor—Duke University

Personal Interests and Hobbies:

Dr. Blizzard enjoys spending time with his wife Sonya and their son Bodhi. He is a longtime competitive road cyclist and cross-country mountain biker and served as the Captain of the Yale Cycling Team during his time as a medical student. Outside of cycling, he is an avid golfer, snowboarder, lake sport enthusiast, and recent reluctant convert to triathlons.