News & Community

From Halo to The Boston Marathon: The Journey of BNA Patient Tim Don

Photo Credit Andrew Hinton

The New York Times highlights the journey of world-record holder triathlete Tim Don.  Click Here to read the full article.   “The halo is like a medieval torture device,” Tim Don’s doctor said. “It’s pure torture.” Don wore it for three months after he was struck by a utility vehicle while riding his bike.

Case Study Published

The World Neurosurgery Journal published a case study by Boulder Neurosurgical & Spine Associates (BNA) surgeons, Sharad Rajpal, MD, and Andrew Bauer, MD, BNA Director of Clinical Research, Sigita Burneikiene, MD, Boulder Community Health pathologist Robert C. Forsythe, MD, and Justin Parker Neurological Institute intern, Colson Tomberlin titled, “Chiari Malformation and Hydrocephalus Masking Neurocysticercosis.”  The report reviewed a case of a 55-year-old Hispanic man who underwent a Chiari decompression surgery, which was complicated with hydrocephalus.  Despite a ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement, he continued to have headaches and was soon found to have several skull base subarachnoid lesions, which were later diagnosed as the sequelae of an active neurocysticercosis infection. The paper highlights the importance of overlapping symptoms between diseases in a short temporal context. Read Full Article.

Research Study Published: Octogenarians Undergoing Elective Spinal Fusion Surgeries

Acta Neurochirurgica, the European Journal of Neurosurgery published, “Medical Complications and Mortality in Octogenarians Undergoing Elective Spinal Fusion Surgeries, ”  by Sharad Rajpal, MD, E. Lee Nelson, MD, Alan Villavicencio, MD, Jayratna Telang, Roshan  Kantha, Kara Beasley, DO and Sigita Burneikiene, MD.   The study identified the types and frequency of medical complications and mortality rates in patients 80 years of age or older undergoing elective spinal fusion surgeries for degenerative spinal disease. Read Full Article

First Surgery in Colorado for New FDA-Controlled Clinical Trial

Alan Villavicencio, MD performed the first surgical case for an FDA-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the LimiFlex™ Paraspinous Tension Band (Empirical Spine Inc., San Carlos, CA) for the treatment of degenerative spondylolisthesis with spinal stenosis. The surgery was performed on  December 12th, at Boulder Community Health.  Boulder Neurosurgical and Spine Associates is one of the study centers in the US participating in the study and the only approved site in Colorado for this procedure.  “Being at the forefront of new surgical techniques is an important part of our practice.  Participating in trials for investigational devices, allows us to bring the most advanced technology options to our patients, helping them return to their lives pain-free,” Alan Villavicencio, MD

The device is being studied as an alternative to the fusion procedure for the treatment of degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis with stenosis, in which a vertebra has moved forward in relation to the vertebra below and the spinal canal narrows putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. The patient symptoms usually consist of low back and leg pain, numbness or weakness in the legs.

“The surgery is minimally-invasive and can be done through a small incision on the patients back.  The procedure took less than 2 hours and went extremely well: the patient left the hospital after only a few hours after surgery with her longstanding symptoms completely resolved.  We anticipate the patient to quickly return to her daily activities, including a planned family trip later this month to the Bahamas,” Alan Villavicencio, MD.

All patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis with lumbar spinal stenosis who are enrolled in the LimiFlex™ study will receive microsurgical decompression, a minimally invasive procedure in which the surgeon will remove bone and soft tissue, which are compressing nerves and causing symptoms. LimiFlex™ will be used to restore the range of motion and stabilize the spine at the level of decompression without the need to use pedicle screw fixation system.



Dr. Beasley Named Top 34 Trailblazing Female Spine Surgeons

beasley-background3-9x5-120rgbKara Beasley, DO was featured in Becker’s Spine Review as the top 34 trailblazing female spine surgeons to know.  The article published on October 3, 2016 features 34 female surgeons from around the country and Dr. Beasley was highlighted for her research experience including that she is the principal investigator for a study comparing manual and automatic position-adaptive spinal cord stimulation with surgical leads. They also featured Dr. Beasley’s participation in the osteopathic professional community and in 2010 she was awarded a scientific writing award from the American College of Osteopathic surgeons.

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 Dr. Rajpal First in the World to Use the Stealth-Midas Drill System

rajpal-medtronic-drillBoulder Neurosurgical and Spine Associates surgeon, Dr. Sharad Rajpal, was the first in the world to operate using the Stealth-Midas™ Drill System developed by Medtronic.  The surgery was held at Boulder Community Health in conjunction with the O-arm™ Stealth Navigation System.  The Stealth-Midas™ Drill System consists of drill hand-pieces with an optical navigation tracker that enables precise drilling, burring and/or the removal of bone during surgical procedures.   “I consider this to be a huge milestone in my pursuit of using advanced technologies in spine surgery to help provide the best care for my patients. I am proud to be a part of these ongoing development teams, which strive to improve patient outcomes in complex cases.”