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Sean K. Keem, MD

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Star ratings are based on responses to survey questions that focus on a patient's likelihood to recommend the provider's office to family and friends as well as the provider's care, including whether the provider listened carefully, spent enough time with you, explained things in an easy-to-understand way, and seemed to know important information about your medical history. Press Ganey averages and converts all survey responses into a single star rating, with five stars being the highest.

Dr. Sean K. Keem


Areas of Expertise

  • Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MIS)
  • Endoscopic Spine Surgery (ESS)


Accepting new patients?

  • Yes


  • English


Dr. Keem earned his medical degree from UC San Diego and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Rutgers University in New Jersey.  Dr. Keem then went on to complete a fellowship in spine surgery at the St. Anthony Hospital-The Children's Hospital-Craig Spinal Cord Injury Hospital combined program, in Denver Colorado. Dr. Keem has worked in tertiary referral/teaching institutions in Atlanta and Seattle. Before he joined Sansum Clinic, he worked with Swedish Medical Center of Seattle as their MIS (Minimally Invasive Spine) surgeon.

Dr. Keem treats a full array of degenerative spinal ailments including disc herniations with sciatica, spinal stenosis with radiculopathy and myelopathy, and spinal deformities such as spondylolisthesis and scoliosis with Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MIS). Advancing innovations in technology makes it possible to utilize MIS to address more pathologic conditions in spine. During the Endoscopic Spine Surgery (ESS), for instance, the surgeon makes ½ inch-incisions to insert a camera and instruments. The high-resolution camera lets him see the disc space and nerve roots in great definition to visualize and address the pathology while minimizing injury to vital structures.

Compared to traditional open spine procedures which require larger instruments and more extensive tissue dissection, the use of MIS, especially ESS, provides a better chance to achieve a desired surgical outcome for the patients while greatly reducing the risk for surgery-related complications due to extensive tissue trauma.

Professional Distinctions

  • Speaker and/or author of more than 70 spine surgical presentations in the US, China, Singapore, Malaysia and S. Korea
  • Seattle Met Top Doctor 2021-2024
  • KOMO Seattle Expert Guest, 7/16/18: ‘Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery’
  • KOMO Seattle Expert Guest, 9/13/16. ‘Vertebral Column Fracture: Tony Romo’s Spinal Injury’
  • Recognition for Spine Surgical Mission Trip to Nairobi, Kenya 2/2012: Performed deformity corrective spine surgeries for indigent populations at Kenyatta National Hospital
  • Featured in Daily Nation 3/4/12
  • Featured in Kenya Family TV 3/1/12
  • Gwinnett Daily Post, 12/22/11:‘Santa Recovers from Broke Back in time for Christmas’ (
  • The Global Directory of Who’s Who
  • Top Doc by Consumer’s Research Council Lifetime Award
  • Certification of Appreciation by 5th Ranger Training Battalion - Service for Army Rangers with spinal injuries
  • Atlanta Journal/Constitution (AJC) 1/22/09: ‘New Methods Attack Back pain’- Army Ranger Sgt. J. Rawlston (\living))
  • Medical Answer Book 2009 Edition: ‘Jumping Without Pain’- Army Ranger Sgt. J. Rawlston
  • Vim & Vigor Fall 2009: ‘Extreme Relief’
  • Gwinnett Herald Vol. 3, No. 45 11/7/08: ‘Jumping Without Pain’- Army Ranger Sgt. J. Rawlston (
  • Forsythe Herald Vol. 10, No. 45 11/5/08: ‘Jumping Without Pain’- Army Ranger Sgt. Jimmy Rawlston
  • Gwinnett Daily Post 4/19/06: ‘Therapeutic Combination’ (
  • CBS Atlanta 46 Sports News on 1/7/06: Artificial Disc Replacement Patient Melodie Clecker (
  • WSB-TV Channel 2 Action News on 2/10/05: 1st Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery in Atlanta
  • Emory Hospital House Calls vol.3 No.3 : ‘Advances in Spine Surgery’
  • Gwinnett Daily Post 12/20/05: ‘Feeling like my old self’- Parkview Volleyball Coach Melodie Clecker (
  • The Korean News Today Issue 205 1/6/04: ‘Surgeons combine expertise in team surgery’
  • Atlanta Business Chronicle 4/25-5/1/03: ‘Surgeons combine expertise in team surgery’

Community Involvement

  • Performed twenty-eight (28) deformity corrective spine surgeries in Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya during his mission trip to Africa in 2012
  • Honored by the U.S. Army’s 5th Ranger Training Battalion in Dahlonega, GA, for the service to Army Rangers with spinal injuries.

At Sansum Clinic since:


Training & Certification

Medical School/Graduate School

  • University of California, San Diego School of Medicine


  • Orthopedic Surgery - Rutgers University, New Jersey Medical School, NJ


  • General Surgery - Rutgers University, New Jersey Medical School, NJ


  • Spine Surgery - The combined programs of St. Anthony Trauma Hospital - Craig Spinal Cord Injury Hospital - Children's Hospital, Denver Combined Program, Denver CO


  • Board Certified, American Board of Orthopedic Surgery 
  • Diplomat, American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS)
  • Medical license in California, Colorado and Washington
  • DEA

Additional Information

In his spare time, Dr. Keem enjoys aquatic sports including whitewater and sea kayaking, paddle boarding, scuba diving and surfing (He is a dismal surfer, but enjoys it nevertheless).
He also enjoys fishing, especially salmon fishing; learning foreign languages and is currently learning Spanish.

As related to his medical field, Dr. Keem also enjoys developing new spine surgical implants and currently holds patents in the US, EU and Australia.