SRO Testimonial


Robert Keys is a talented musician who lives with his wife in Redwood Valley, CA. At 71, Robert remains passionate about collecting guitars and performing live for fans of country and country-rock music. About 20 years ago, Robert began experiencing symptoms of sciatica due to spinal stenosis. After trying several conservative treatments in years past to manage the pain, Robert’s symptoms gradually returned to the point where he could hardly walk 100 feet without experiencing crippling pain and numbness in his legs and lower back. Robert turned to Dr. Star at SRO—with whom he had had very positive care in the past—to find relief. Dr. Star evaluated Robert and then introduced him to Stanford-fellowship-trained spine surgeon Christian Athanassious, MD, who picked up the case from there.


Robert explains, “Because of the expert level of care Dr. Star had provided me in the past, I immediately felt that I could trust Dr. Athanassious. Dr. Athanassious carefully walked me through all of my treatment options and we decided on my procedure together. He performed a type of spinal surgery called an extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF) on me in November, and today I am free of my symptoms of sciatica. Before my surgery, I could still play the guitar, but only for short periods and only if I was sitting. My passion allowed me to push through the pain, but my inability to stand and play completely compromised my capability to perform at live shows. While I still have some residual pain from my surgery, I’m amazed and relieved at the absence of the chronic pain that had become part of my everyday life.

I feel extremely fortunate to have had not one but two amazing physicians from SRO. Since Dr. Star had treated me in the past, he stood alongside Dr. Athanassious during my surgery to ensure the best outcome. I found it very refreshing to see my doctors working so effectively as a team. Dr. Athanassious’ work was impeccable, and with my sciatica gone I am thrilled to be back on stage!” ~ Robert Keys


Dr. Christian Athanassious

Dr. Christian Athanassious

Dr. Athanassious has shown Robert Keys what thousands of other patients have discovered over the years: Santa Rosa Orthopaedic physicians care and pride themselves on getting you back to the activities you love most.