Dr. Philip York has your back, Panorama Summit Orthopedics assists people in returning to active lifestyles | SummitDaily.com
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Dr. Philip York has your back, Panorama Summit Orthopedics assists people in returning to active lifestyles

Kim Nicoletti

The thought of back surgery can be scary; most people have heard stories or known someone who has had a bad experience. However, spine surgery has come a long way in recent years, and the surgeons at Panorama Summit Orthopedics are renowned experts who research and implement the latest technology and techniques to help patients return to the activities they love.

Dr. Philip York, a spine surgeon at Panorama Orthopedics & Spine Center and Panorama Summit Orthopedics, employs the most recent, success-driven techniques, including robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery. 

Panorama Summit Orthopedics are renowned experts who research and implement the latest technology and techniques to help patients return to the activities they love

“One of the things I enjoy about being a spine surgeon is the ability to spend a little extra time with patients compared to other specialties,” York said. 



He likes taking extra time to truly get to know his patients and ensure a proper diagnosis.

In fact, many poor surgical outcomes result from improper diagnoses, he said. That’s why he takes the time to run tests and find the root cause of pain.



“There are a lot of different ways to address things and a number of ways to look at a single problem. Generally speaking, I’m conservative: If I don’t need to do a more aggressive surgery, I won’t,” he said. “I take time to know I have the right diagnosis. That’s one of the first challenges because often, patients have already seen a number of doctors, and by the time they see me, they’re ready to go into the procedure — they’re convinced of what they need, but sometimes, the diagnosis isn’t correct. I make sure I get the right workup and do my homework. Then, when I’ve confirmed what the pain source is, surgery is often extremely successful.”

Dr. Philip York, a spine surgeon, employs the most recent, success-driven techniques, including robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery.

Plenty of studies show when a more extensive surgery such as a spine fusion is, and is not, indicated. The unfortunate reality is: Hospitals make more money when more aggressive surgeries are performed.

“We now have the techniques to perform very advanced surgeries in minimally invasive ways and even, sometimes, avoid fusions that previously were not an option,” he said, adding that when he finds the source of pain and the proper procedure to address it, “then you’re going to have a good outcome.”

He has treated patients who have had six different doctors assume the same thing, but he often prefers to see patients multiple times before diving into surgery.

“We look, and I might say, ‘hold on,’ and sometimes it changes the whole course of treatment. It can be frustrating, but taking time leads to a better outcome,” he said.

His academic background in psychology provides him with excellent listening skills and empathy, so patients feel heard.

“There’s not always a simple answer. The most important thing is to understand what the patient’s goals are,” York said. “I want to go through that long-term relationship with my patients, to get to know them and their loved ones and to be able to instill that confidence in the process.”

“The most important thing is to understand what the patient’s goals are,” York said. “I want to go through that long-term relationship with my patients.”

A few weeks ago, one of his patients was terrified because she had a spine fusion by a different doctor about 20 years ago and needed another a bit higher. This time, York fused her two vertebrae with just a couple 1.5 cm incisions and robotic-assisted-placed screws; her prior surgery involved a 12-inch incision, peeling muscles from the spine and a lot of blood loss — all for the same exact procedure.

“The next morning after surgery, she said, ‘I didn’t feel this good for six months after my surgery last time.’ She was ready to go home (whereas last time) she was in the hospital for a week,” he said. 

Huge advances in technology have led to multiple ways to achieve a goal through minimally invasive surgery. York performs everything from spine fusions to decompression surgery and disc replacements.

The Colorado native chose to join the Panorama team “because they’re the best,” he said.

“During my time training at the University of Colorado Residency, it was very well known that they were the premier, elite group in town, and it’s definitely proven to be true. They just exude good quality in patient care,” he said. “It’s the pinnacle of orthopedic care in the region. They have great surgeons in every area of orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation.”


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