Founding Board Member
Dr. Ed Farrar has practiced orthopedic spinal surgery in Wenatchee, Washington since 1983, yet ironically he no longer performs surgery due to sustaining a spinal cord injury in 2008 from being hit head-on by a car while riding his bike. Ironies abound in Ed’s story, and while he nearly died riding his bike, biking and maintaining quality of life helps keep him alive. He uses various therapeutic modalities including pool therapy, the Galileo training system, and he walks regularly in a bionic exoskeleton suit. Let’s just say Dr. Farrar walks his talk.
“We now know that getting a person who is paralyzed up and into a walking motion is one of the fastest ways to get the spinal cord and nerves to heal,” Dr. Farrar said. “It won’t cure me—my injury was too severe—but less than 10 percent of the people with spinal cord damage are injured as badly as I was. We’ve learned there’s more neural plasticity in the brain and spinal cord than we imagined, and for people with partial paralysis—from strokes, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and, of course, spinal cord injury—this kind of therapy can be almost miraculous.”
Dr. Farrar is board-certified and a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and he currently provides consultation and office services. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emory University School of Medicine and was the president of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Society in his graduating year. He did his orthopedic residency training at the University of Washington and completed his training in spine surgery at Swedish Hospital. He remains on the medical staff at Swedish and has served as a member of the clinical faculty at the University of Washington.
Dr. Farrar is a member of the North American Spine Society and Orthopaedics Overseas. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of the Washington State Orthopaedic Association and was president of the WSOA from 2004 – 2006. Dr. Farrar has also been a member of five Himalayan expeditions, and has done volunteer work in Nepal. He moved to the Northwest because of his love of the mountains. He continues his love for cycling and the outdoors.
ESPN Article: The Joy, and Sorrow, of Cycling
Article: Confluence Health Foundation
Youtube video: Dr. Ed Farrar speaking about his spinal cord injury accident and recovery: http://youtu.be/3Vzypd3xQS0