News Archives

DBS Treatment for Epilepsy

Dr. Kara Beasley is one of 18 surgeons throughout the country trained in the use of Deep Brain Stimulation surgery for the treatment of epilepsy. Last year, the FDA approved the use of Deep Brain Stimulation therapy for focal epilepsy. DBS therapy consists of a thin wire with electrodes at the tip that is implanted into a target area in the brain. A neurostimulator device is placed under the skin of the collar bone and can be programmed to deliver small electrical pulses to a particular area of the bran to help stop or lessen the number of seizures.

Robotics and Spinal Navigation

Sharad Rajpal, MD was the Chairman for a course on fundamentals of Navigated Spine Surgery held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Surgeons from around the world gathered to learn about spine surgery and the latest in robotics and spinal navigation techniques.



Spinal Cord Stimulation Research Presented at ESSFN

Kara Beasley, DO traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland to present a JPNI research study titled Prospective Randomized Feasibility Study Comparing Manual vs. Automatic Position-Adaptive Spinal Cord Stimulation with Surgical Leads. She presented the research at the XXIII Congress of the European Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery.

The purpose of this study is to establish the extent that chronic pain patients implanted with surgical, laminectomy-type leads experience position-related variations in spinal cord stimulation therapy and to investigate the effects of manual versus automatic position-adaptive spinal cord stimulation on clinical outcome. Learn more.

e3 Conference for Parkinson’s

BNA was on hand to talk about deep brain stimulation therapy for tremor control at the Parkinson Association of the Rockies’ 5th annual e3: educate-empower- energize Conference.


Celebrating Girls Night Out

BNA Participated in the Annual Girls Night Out at Platte Valley Medical Center. More than 700 women attended the event, which is the largest women’s health event in the Brighton, CO region.


Golfing for Medical Education

BNA was a sponsor for the Longmont United Hospital Foundation’s Golf Tournament. The Tournament supports state of the art Innovative Learning Center at Longmont United Hospital. The Center features patient simulators that allow associates and community members to be better trained, prepared and practiced in everything from basic nursing skills to birthing to radiology and more.

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.


Tips to Protect Your Spine in Warm Weather

Dr. Rajpal is a contributing author on where he writes patient education content about spinal conditions and treatments. Click here to read his latest piece.



Dr. Villavicencio Rides Across America

6 days-22 hours-3,100 miles and 170,000 feet climb.  That is what it took to finish the Race Across America.  Contrast to Team EXTREME Operations Racing…Alan Villavicencio, Jeff Thramann, Dennis Villavicencio and Robert Cranny for finishing RAAM Challenge Series in 3rd Place in the team competition for their age group.

Poster Presentation at ASSFN

Boulder Neurosurgical & Spine Associates and the Justin Parker Neurological Institute presented a scientific poster at the American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (ASSFN) biannual meeting held in Denver. The poster highlighted the results of the study by Kara D. Beasley DO, MBe; Christie Zakar PA-C; Vinod Kantha BA and, Sigita Burneikiene MD that prospectively compared manual vs. automatic-adaptive spinal cord stimulation with surgical leads.

BNA In The Community

Working alongside Boulder Community Health Trauma Department, Boulder Neurosurgical & Spine Associates helped to supply bike helmets to kids participating in the “Take Your Kid Mountain Biking Day” at Valmont Bike Park. BNA helped distribute helmets to more than 100 kids in need of helmets.

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.”

Davis Phinney Foundation Car-B-Q

Boulder Neurosurgical & Spine Associates was a proud sponsor of the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s Car-B-Q.  Tebo’s Garage opened its doors for participants to enjoy a private collection of more than 400 noteworthy vehicles. Ticket sales supported the Davis Phinney Foundation’s mission of helping people with Parkinson’s live well today.

Hitting the Links for a Good Cause

Dr. Tripp Nanney, Dr. Andrew Bauer, Jen Tierney and Anthony Mirante participated in the inaugural Good Sam Golf Jam.  The event, hosted by the Good Samaritan Medical Center Foundation, raised nearly $60K for Cardiovascular Services at Good Samaritan Medical Center.


Girls Night Out at Platte Valley Medical Center

Boulder Neurosurgical & Spine Associates was a proud sponsor of Platte Valley Medical Center’s Annual Girls Out Night Event.  More than 700 participants interacted with a variety of health education activities while enjoying food and entertainment.


Educate, empower and energize was the theme of the Parkinson Association of the Rockies e3 conference. Dr. Kara Beasley was on hand to talk with those affected by Parkinson’s about the benefits of deep brain stimulation surgery to control Parkinson tremors.

Helmet Give Away at Bike Event

On June 10th, Boulder Neurosurgical & Spine Associates (BNA) teamed up with the Trauma Department of Boulder Community Health (BCH) to hand out bike helmets to more than 500 participants at Valmont Bike Park’s Fourth Annual Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day event. Started by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), this international and community favorite event featured family-friendly biking activities. Special thanks to BNA’s Mike Kiley (center), Joan DePuy (left) and Josh Rubinsky (right) from BCH for performing all the helmet fittings!

MASH Bash Benefits Hospital Foundation

Boulder Neurosurgical & Spine Associates was a sponsor at the MASH Bash at Good Samaritan Medical Center honor the former President & CEO, Dave Hamm.  donations supported future projects at the hospital that enhance our ability to provide medical excellence and compassionate care in our growing community.

Boulder Neurosurgical & Spine Associates sponsored the Boulder Community Hospital Foundation Annual Spring Gala. The BCH Foundation raised over $550,000 in support of establishing a mental health endowment for our community.

 Dr. Sharad Rajpal Recognized by Patients

Dr. Rajpal received recognition from the Avista Adventist Hospital Foundation as part of the health Angel program.  The Foundation received several gifts from grateful patients honoring Dr. Rajpal. They all spoke highly of the level of care they received and expressed deep gratitude for the treatment that he provided.


National Conference Presentations

Dr. Alan Villavicencio presented “Prediction of Clinical Outcomes after Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusions Based on Preoperative Opioid Use,” at the Annual Meeting of the Neurosurgical Society of America in Jacksonville, FL held in April.

In addition, he also presented, “Prediction Based on Preoperative Opioid Use of Clinical Outcomes after Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion” at the AANS Annual Scientific Meeting in Los Angeles, CA.


Dr. Sharad Rajpal presented at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves 2017 Spine Summit in March.  His lecture was titled, “Prediction of Clinical Outcomes after Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusions Based on Preoperative Opioid Use, Timing of Surgery and Symptom Resolution in Patients Undergoing Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion for Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease and Radiculopathy, and Neuromodulators and Pre-emptive Analgesia.”

In addition, Dr. Rajpal presented, “You Are never Too Old for Surgery:  Spine Managment in an Aging Population,” at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons held in Los Angeles.  Dr. Rajpal specifical address treatment options for degenerative stenosis/spondylolisthesis.


Guideline for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Degenerative Lumbar Spondylolisthesis

dr-v-portrait-in-suitThe North American Spine Society (NASS) assembled a group of experts in the field to develop evidence-based clinical guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis.

Dr. Alan Villavencio was among the contributing authors in developing the guidelines that were published in The Spine Journal. The published article features evidence-based recommendations for diagnosing and treating degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis.

The guideline is intended to reflect contemporary treatment concepts for symptomatic degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis. The NASS guideline on this topic is the only guideline on degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis included in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC).

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BNA is a Proud Sponsor of the North Boulder Little League (NBLL)

baseball-with-bannerFor more than 50 years, NBLL has delivered a fun, safe and competitive environment in which children aged 5-14 can play baseball. NBLL baseball provides unique opportunities for boys and girls to learn values such as sportsmanship and teamwork while simultaneously developing skills and passion for baseball and physical fitness. Recently, NBLL has added incredible achievements to its resume as well, with stirring multi-age victories at the district, state and interstate regional levels.

Protect Before You Pedal!

img_1084Boulder Neurosurgical & Spine Associates teamed up with Boulder Community Hospital Trauma Center to hand out and fit bike helmets for the 5th Anniversary Celebration of Valmont Bike Park held on Saturday, June 11th. Mike Kiley, BNA Physician Assistant, was on hand to help along with Joan Depuy and Josh Rubinsky from BCH. More than 25 helmets were given out along with medical ID stickers that are placed inside the helmet.

Dr. Kara Beasley Joins Davis Phinney Foundation Board of Directors

The Davis Phinney Foundation (DPF) invests in initiatives to support, inform and inspire people living with Parkinson’s disease to live well today. The Davis Phinney Foundation was founded in 2004 by Olympic medal-winner and bicycle racer, Davis Phinney, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2000 at the age of 40. Today, Davis is both a role model in the cycling community and an inspiration to the estimated 1.5 million Americans and estimated 10 million worldwide who are currently living with the disease.

Dr. Rajpal Featured in Platte Valley Medical Center Fall 2012 Magazine Article “Peace of Mind for Your Back and Neck Pain”

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Dr. Beasley Discusses Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease and Essential Tremor

Watch The Interview

Dr. Alan Villavicencio Spoke at the 10th Annual Spine, Orthopedic and Pain Management-Drive ASC Conference

Dr. Alan Villavicencio was invited to speak at the 2012 Spine, Orthopedic and Pain Management-Drive ASC conference held in Chicago.  During his presentation, entitled “Minimally Invasive Outpatient Lumbar Fusions — A Study on Clinical Outcomes in the ASC,” Dr. Villavicencio discussed his experience performing spine surgery in an ASC and outcomes data collected over several years.

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Boulder County Business Report Features Dr. Rajpal and Dr. Villavicencio

The Boulder County Business Report published an article on new surgical techniques, rehabilitation regimes to reduce pain and recovery time.  The article featured BNA doctors, Sharad Rajpal, MD and Alan Villavicencio, MD.

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Dr. Alan Villavicencio Authors Chapter in the Book “Image-Guided Radiation Therapy. A Clinical Perspective.”

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This book is available to purchase on sites such as


Deep Brain Stimulation Offers Life-Changing Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

The Good Samaritan Medical Center Foundation newsletter featured an article on Dr. Lee Nelson and the benefits of deep brain stimulation surgery for treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

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Dr. Villavicencio Presented at the NASS

During the 2011 NASS 26th Annual meeting in Chicago, Dr. Villavicencio presented “Higher Patient Expectations Before Surgery May Be Related to Improved Clinical Outcomes.”


BNA Physicians Featured on Colorado and Company

Dr. Alan Villavicencio and Dr. Sharad Rajpal appeared on the Channel 9 Colorado and Company show on October 20, 2010 to discuss minimally invasive treatments currently available for back pain and compression fractures of the spine.

 Watch Video


ORTHO Supersite Featured BNA Paper Presented at the 24th Annual NASS Meeting  “Alignment More Important than Graft Type for Anterior Cervical Fusion Success”

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BNA Physicians Discuss Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) Procedure

Drs. Lee Nelson and Alan  Villavicencio talk about the options for chronic and neuropathic pain.

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BNA Physicians Discuss the Advantages of CO2 Laser Scalpel for Spine and Brain Surgery


Dr. Villavicencio Was  Featured in an Article Published by the Denver Daily News

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Dr. Lee Nelson Featured in Scientific American Article  “Will a Bendable Laser Scalpel Make a Cut?”

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The Boulder Daily Camera Featured BNA Physicians in an Article “How to Fix a Painful Spine”

The article featured thy CHARITÉ® Artificial Disc

Dr. Villavicencio Featured in an Article by Boulder Community Health “I was Terrified when They Said I’d Need Brain Surgery. I was Relieved when Dr. Villavicencio Said I Might Not”

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Presentation by Sigita Burneikiene, MD at the Euro Spine Meeting in Geneva Featured in ORTHO Supersite “Less Blood Loss, Shorter Hospital Stays Seen with Minimally-Invasive Lumbar Fusion”

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Flag Barn
Star-Spangled Barn: American Flag Will Return as Restoration Nears Completion

The Boulder Daily Camera feature an Article on Dr. Alan Villavicencio who purchased and is restoring the old Cito barn in Niwot.

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Flag-Painted Barn to Get New Owner, Face Lift

Daily Camera, My Town

Dr. Villavicenco Featured in Denver Post Article “Brushing Up on Patriotism”

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