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Specialty: Spine Surgery

Born in St. Louis, 1949

He and his wife, Judy, have 7 children and nine grandchildren.

Board Certified: Dr. Piper founded what is now Advanced Bone & Joint Surgery in 1980, after completing an Orthopedic surgery residency at Barnes Hospital, Washington University in St. Louis. His M.D. was earned at St. Louis University School of Medicine. Dr. Piper also attended St. Louis University for his undergraduate degree, majoring in chemistry. He has been certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery since 1982, and is a diplomate of the American Board of Spine Surgery. Dr. Piper is a member of AO Spine of North America. He has been the course director of many spine seminars/courses held at the Practical Anatomy Workshop of St. Louis University, in St. Louis. These are well recognized spinal surgery conferences that feature faculty and participants from around the world. These have been held since 1997. Dr. Piper has collaborated with spine device manufacturers to improve the quality of instrumentation and implants used in the repair of spinal degenerative conditions.

Dr. Piper treats spinal disorders of the neck, chest, and low back. His emphasis is on degenerative conditions of the spine. When applicable, he has an increasing preference for minimally invasive surgical procedures that utilize smaller incisions allowing faster rehabilitation and recovery.

Public Service: He has served as a medical missionary for the Crudem Foundation as a volunteer Orhtopedic Surgeon to the Haitian poor yearly since 1994-2006. Dr. Piper has performed over 300 surgeries in Haiti ranging from the correction of pediatric deformities to repairing long bone fractures and eradicating long standing bony infections. He has also operated in the Dominican Republic to treat adolescent scoliosis. He has traveled to many countries to further his ongoing education in the treatment of spinal disorders, some of which include England, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Canada, France and Switzerland.

Dr. Piper specializes in spine surgery. He is Board Certified in the specialty of Spine Surgery, passing in 1997 the American Board of Spine Surgery Certifying Examination. He is board certified orthopedic surgeon with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons since 1982.

Dr. Piper partners with Chris Hemmer, DNP. They have been together for 15 years and closely collaborate as a team on the care of all patients. Dr. Theodore Rummel is affiliated with Piper Spine Care, and he performs general orthopedic surgery. Lastly, Garrett Ungerer is a physician assistant who recently joined the practice. Garrett assists Dr. Piper in surgery and also sees patients in the office.  


Specialty: Adult Nurse Practitioner Orthopedic Spine Surgery

Born in St. Louis, Missouri 1972

Married to Laurie Hemmer and has one daughter, Grace

Practice: Dr. Chris Hemmer has a vast knowledge of treating adult patients. He completed a year of internal medicine practice prior to starting his career in orthopedic spine. For the last 15 years Dr. Hemmer has worked closely with Dr. Piper in the evaluation and treatment of both acute and chronic spinal disorders. Chris has also worked in the emergency department for nine years which has increased his ability to evaluate patients for pathology that may cause back pain.

Education: Dr. Hemmer is a native to the Saint Louis area. He completed his undergraduate studies at South East Missouri State University 1995.  He began his graduate work at University of Missouri St. Louis where he received his masters degree as an adult nurse practitioner and has been board certified since 1999. His doctoral studies were completed at University of Missouri St. Louis in 2013 when he earned the degree doctor of nursing practice (DNP). Chris also was awarded the Shirley A. Martin distinguished nurse award by his professors during his doctoral studies.

Volunteer:  Dr. Hemmer has a strong sense of giving back to the community. His volunteer work is noted locally as well as internationally:

  • CURE international, Spine surgical team to the Dominican Republic for pediatric surgeryMDA, golden handcuff award

  • Community service volunteer through local church at First Baptist Harvester
  • AIMS (adventures in Medicine/science) guest speaker

  • RAM (remote area medical) medical volunteer

Teaching: Dr. Hemmer is adjunct assistant professor for University of Missouri St. Louis since 2009. He is also a full assistant professor at Saint Louis University for the graduate program. Aside from teaching duties Chris has been a lecturer both locally and regionally in the area of spinal disorders. He co-chairs an annual course at Saint Louis University for NP/PA Complex Spine: Anatomy and Instrumentation.

Organizations: Board certified ANCC adult nurse practitioner, Member American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Member North American Spine Society, Member St. Louis Spine Society

Research interest: Vertebral compression fractures & Osteoporosis



Dr. Rummel fulfilled his undergraduate education at the University of Missouri. He went on to medical school at A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO.

He performed his Residency at Deaconess and went on to the Florida Orthopedic Institute and Tampa Shriners Hospital for additional training in Upper Extremity and Hand.

He is retired military from the Missouri Army National Guard as well. Dr. Rummel is Board Certified in Orthopedic Surgery since 1996 and has since recertified in 2006.

Dr. Rummel has been with Piper Spine Care since 2011, specializing in Upper Extremity and Hand issues. He also sees patients for general orthopedics.

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