Our Spine and Total Joint Center

Millions of Americans experience or are currently experiencing some degree of back pain. Back pain and spine disorders not only hinder people’s mobility, but also they account for 27 percent of all disabling occupational injuries in the United States, as determined in a recent study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At Sky Ridge Medical Center’s Spine and Total Joint Center, our goal is to get you back to work and doing what you enjoy most as quickly as possible. Whether you are a sports enthusiast, an active mom or just trying to enjoy your retirement, we have a team of experienced orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons and nurses who will provide you with personalized care before, during and after your spine treatment.

Take a virtual tour of our state-of-the-art facility.

The Spine and Total Joint Center at Sky Ridge performs more spine surgeries than any other hospital in Colorado. To contact our Spine and Total Joint Center, call (720) 624-4906

Advantages of our Spine and Total Joint Center

  • A comprehensive team of caring specialists who will provide you with personalized care before, during and after your surgery
  • Experienced, fellowship-trained neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons
  • 48-hour access to an appointment with a specialist
  • The most advanced technology, including minimally-invasive surgery
  • Spine surgery with the Mazor X™
  • Lower-than-national-average infection rates
  • The best recovery environment in Denver and Colorado
  • State-of-the-art facility with a private entrance

Spine and Total Joint Center Recognition

of Excellence

Anthem Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery

Sky Ridge designated as a Blue Cross Blue Shield Distinction Center for Spine Surgery and Aetna Institute of Quality.


Becker's Hospital Review: business and legal issues for health system leadership

AETNA Institute of Quality

Sky Ridge Named to Becker's List of 101 Hospitals with Great Spine & Neurosurgery Programs and AETNA's Institutes of Quality.

Joint Commission
Gold Seal of Approval

The Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval

Sky Ridge has received the National Gold Seal of Approval by the Joint Commission.

Spine, back and neck conditions and injuries we treat

Our orthopedists are experts when it comes to spine, back and neck care. Conditions we treat include:

  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Back pain
  • Bone spur
  • Burst fracture
  • Compression fracture
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Disc disorders
  • Herniated disc
  • Muscle strain
  • Neck pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pulled muscles
  • Sciatica
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal fracture
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spine tumor/cyst
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Whiplash

Spine surgery in South Denver

At Sky Ridge Medical Center, our team of spine experts and neurosurgeons is constantly on the forefront of technology and new techniques to provide the best patient outcomes possible. A key example of this is minimally-invasive surgery using the Mazor X™ system.

Our spine surgeons use the Mazor X to create a 3D model of your spinal cord that can be viewed from multiple angles, helping our surgeons better assess your anatomy, determine the best implants and develop a personalized care plan designed for your particular body.

Benefits of minimally-invasive surgery

Minimally-invasive spine surgery offers many key advantages to traditional open surgery. At this time, we do not provide this minimally-invasive surgery to correct scoliosis.

  • Less pain
  • Greatly reduced infection rate
  • More precise placement of instrumentation via image guidance
  • Much lower incidence of spinal fluid leaks caused by surgeon error
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Quicker return to normal activities

Learn about Michael Mulder's Experience with the Mazor X™

Spine resources

It is important for patients to learn as much as they can about their condition, so they can make informed choices about their treatment. The following trusted websites will help provide you with additional information:

We offer a Spine Surgery Pre-Op Class. However, if you're unable to attend our in-person class, you can also view our summary video online.

Spine Surgery Pre-Op Video

Treating spinal disc problems

Our spines are comprised of thirty-three vertebrae, separated only by cartilage-like discs. These discs can be damaged through trauma or disease or simply degenerate over time, and when they are impacted, there is a great chance you may experience pain, and potentially debilitation as well.

We offer both traditional and modern treatments for spinal disc problems. At our facility, we offer spinal fusion, a process involving removing a disc and bridging the adjacent vertebrae with a piece of bone typically grafted from the patient’s pelvis. Results from this procedure alleviate pre-existing back pain, however, it will leave the patient with a section of immobility along the spine and can cause additional stress on adjacent discs. Spinal fusion patients fully resume normal activity typically around nine months post-surgery.

More modern advancements in medical technology have granted us the ability to completely replace a disc in the spine to preserve, and in some cases, even enhance motion in the lumbar portion of the spine. Disc replacement surgery uses an artificial disc roughly one and 0.75 inches in diameter. During this procedure, our spine surgeons can access the spine from the front of the body, rather than the potentially more damaging posterior approach required in spinal fusion surgery. Patients who undergo this procedure leave the hospital sooner and usually resume normal activities within six-to-eight weeks.

Spine revision surgery

Spine revision surgery is needed when a prior spinal procedure that had been inadequately or improperly performed starts to cause severe back pain and other unwanted symptoms. Improper spine function not only causes back pain, but also it can cause scoliosis, a sideways-leaning of the spine, kyphosis, a forward-leaning posture issue and acid reflux. Our spine specialists at Sky Ridge are capable of performing minimally-invasive procedures to help our patients reattain their athletic abilities, regain overall physical mobility and restore their height.

Revision surgery is much more complex than initial spine procedures. Our surgeons are highly-trained and are well-trusted by patients by routinely having the highest volume of spine surgeries performed in Colorado.

Read about two of our spine revision surgery patients

Spine tumor treatment

In conjunction with our Sky Ridge cancer care program, our neurology and spine experts are able to diagnose and treat cancerous spine cells. Our staff is able to detect whether the abnormal growths in the spine are either benign, noncancerous and not invading nearby tissue, or malignant, cancerous and possibly spread to other parts of the body. Spine tumors can press on nerves and blood vessels, potentially inducing pain and a reduction in blood supply. These tumors may occur in the bones of the spine, within nerve tissue or within soft tissue around the spine, and with early detection, our team of oncologists, neurological experts and spine surgeons can help you overcome your spine tumor.

Dr. Brent Kimball discusses signs, symptoms and treatment for spinal cancer and spinal tumors.


Minimally-Invasive Spine Surgery at Sky Ridge A Faster Road to Pain-Free Living

Salida resident Scott Collins spent 15 years jostling around as a crane operator. Although he now spends his time behind a desk, those earlier years wreaked havoc on his back. “Chronic back pain kept me awake most nights,” says Collins. “Sometimes, my legs would go numb.”

Seeking relief, Collins returned to Dr. Adam P. Smith, the neurological surgeon who performed his neck surgery in 2012 at The Medical Center of Aurora. New imaging scans showed an ependymoma tumor had formed in Collins’ spinal cord.

Read his story

Sky Ridge Stryker

This surgery can help relieve chronic back pain

Back surgery isn't what it used to be, and that’s a good thing. Today’s less-invasive procedures are quick, effective and require a short recovery period.

If you've ever had back pain, you’re not alone; eight in 10 Americans will experience this discomfort at some point in their lives. Often, the pain subsides on its own, but in rare cases, surgery is the only hope for relief.

Fortunately, back surgery isn't as scary as it sounds, and newer techniques, including minimally-invasive spine surgery, can be done using small incisions that help reduce recovery time.

Learn more about this type of surgery