Susie was an international flight attendant for United Airlines for 35 years. Five years prior to retiring, she purchased a floral nursery (Sweet Lane Wholesale Nursery), along with her husband.  For five years she had two jobs and when she retired from the airlines, the nursery became her full-time retirement job that she loves – with a passion.

In April, 2017, Susie’s primary care physician in Novato, referred her to Dr. Athanassious due to back pain and sciatica.  At the time of her appointment, she could barely walk into the Santa Rosa Orthopaedics office. She was seeking a local expert to treat her debilitating pain. After office visits and imaging, Dr. Athanassious found she had a serious degeneration of discs. He recommended surgical treatment with L3-L4 L4-L5 anterior spinal fusion through direct lateral approach and posterior spinal fusion with direct decompression at the L4-L5 level.

“The surgery was flawless and the healing process went better than expected. Between the rehabilitation center and the ongoing care from  Dr. Athanassious, it was challenging, but I rehabilitated really quickly.

Prior to the surgery, I could barely walk without pain. I am now doing things that I never thought I could do again.”

I am walking around, working in my garden and the quality of my life has increased immensely. For example, in my Nursey business with on-site weddings, I’ve always had to be the ‘back office person’ due to my chronic pain. I could never join the celebrations and be part of my customers’ weddings. Now, I am able to be a part of them, walking around and meeting people from all over the world that come to use my business backyard for ceremonies.

I had my first wedding this year where the bride was from Japan and groom was from China. Being able to walk around and meet everyone and talk to everyone at the weddings brings me incredible joy. All I can say is that Dr. Athanassious is a wonderful man. He is a skilled surgeon with a wonderful sense of humor and he works with an incredible staff. Thank you Santa Rosa Orthopaedics. My life has changed 100 percent.”


About Dr. Athanassious 

Dr. Christian Athanassious is the Medical Director of SRO’s Total Spine Health Program. The Total Spine Health Program employs innovative diagnostic testing, minimally invasive surgical techniques, and targeted therapies at our full-service onsite physical therapy center to improve mobility and quality of life. With expert an orthopaedic physician and physician assistant working alongside a veteran physical therapy staff within the same practice, SRO has set a high standard for comprehensive orthopaedic spine care in Sonoma County.

The Total Spine Health Program at Santa Rosa Orthopaedics strives to do everything possible to get patients back to doing the things they love most. When surgery is necessary, Dr. Athanassious carries fellowship training in the most advanced spinal surgery and injection procedures from the prestigious Stanford University. For more information about SRO surgeons and services, visit srortho.com. Call 707-546-1922 to schedule an appointment.