David Duffner, MD

David W. Duffner, MD, MBA David W. Duffner, MD, MBA, is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in spinal surgery with 28 years of experience. He is a founding partner of Total Orthopedics of Palm Springs (TOPS), a select group of physicians practicing at the offices of the Institute of Clinical Orthopedics and Neurosciences (ICON) at Desert Regional Medial Center. Dr. Duffner joined the Institute of Clinical Orthopedics and Neurosciences in 2004, and currently serves as medical director of the Spine Services Program. Dr. Duffner has been recognized as a Top Doctor in his specialty for the past five years in a row by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., conductor of a peer-nominated survey as published in Palm Springs Life.

Prior to moving to the desert, Dr. Duffner served as president of a large orthopedic group in Tyler, Texas which he founded in 1990. Drawing on his successful practice and experience in Texas, he established the Spine Patient Assessment (SPA) program at ICON – a multidisciplinary approach in a peer-reviewed setting to provide treatment decision support and documentation for optimal patient care and risk management.

Operating on a philosophy that for most spine conditions surgery is the last resort, not the first, Dr. Duffner places a key emphasis on proper patient selection and optimizing the right treatment for a given patient. He has a phrase he likes to share with surgery patients: “The decision is more important than the incision.”

While Dr. Duffner enjoys the complexities and technical aspects of spine surgery, he is most concerned with how the patient feels – how has the surgery positively impacted their life. To this end, he has extensive experience in patient outcome studies and has been instrumental in improving outcome tracking at ICON – proudly reporting five years of data meeting or exceeding national database benchmarks.

Dr. Duffner earned his Medical Degree from the University of Oklahoma. He served his residency in orthopedics at Texas A&M. He also has received fellowship training in adult reconstructive orthopedics at the University of Basel in Switzerland. Additionally, he earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Houston.

Dr. Duffner is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), a founding member of the North American Spine Society (NASS), and a member of the Riverside County Medical Association. He has published and lectured extensively on reconstructive orthopedics and spine surgery.

At Desert Regional Medical Center, Dr. Duffner currently serves as chief of orthopedics and chairman of the Bioethics Committee. Previously, he served as chair of the Department of Surgery for four years and was a member of Desert Regional Medical Center’s Governing Board for three years.

Dr. Duffner and his wife, Jana, live in Palm Springs. In his leisure time, he enjoys golf, hiking and other outdoor sports.

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