Rita Scardaci had been experiencing pain since 2008. She had been receiving epidurals at SRO until about 2015, when the pain began shifting to numbness and loss of function and the inability to use her leg resulting in Rita essentially dragging her leg. Once it was determined that deterioration was occurring, her SRO physician at the time referred her to Dr. Athanassious. Rita knew right away that Dr. Athanassious was the perfect one for her. She was comforted by how he encouraged her husband to attend each appointment, ask questions, and review x-rays in detail. He was very clear and precise about the procedure and recovery expectations. “I was extremely impressed that Dr. Athanassious required physical therapy to get me into ‘great candidate shape’ prior to surgery. I believe this propelled me to my successful post-op recovery, as well as enhanced my quality of life!” Rita was diagnosed with disc degeneration and compression on the spinal nerve. She underwent L4/L5 extreme lateral interbody fusion and posterior spinal fusion in April 2016. “Immediately waking after surgery, I felt no pain, the pain and numbness was gone!” Rita was only in the hospital for one night. Dr. Athanassious “walked with me through the hallways on the first day and he was by my side at physical therapy on the second day.” Following his thorough and detailed instructions for post-op, within four weeks, Rita knew she was on the road to full recovery, “IT WAS MIRACULOUS!” “Dr. Athanassious is very conscientious, thoughtful, calm, organized and comprehensive with respect to what my life was like, and what my expectations and hopes were following surgery, he listened to me and gave me (and my husband) confidence that surgery was the best option.” “Sutter Hospital is AMAZING! Everyone from the hospitalist to the post-op team, as well as the technology of the facility was outstanding and extremely impressive!” Prior to surgery, Rita’s level of physical activity was extremely low. But just one year following her surgery, Rita and her family took a Disney Cruise to celebrate the anniversary of the surgery. She signed up for EVERY activity at all of the island stops, including kayaking, hang-gliding, snorkeling, zip-lining and more. “There was no activity that I couldn’t do! I am in in great shape now. I ride my bike and walk every day for miles!”

“I can now pursue life with vigor and without pain or restrictions.” Dianne Maxwell

“I can now pursue life with vigor and without pain or restrictions.” ~Dianne Maxwell   Read more …


SRO Testimonial 11.3“I have not had any pain whatsoever in the surgery area. I’m just so happy. I can’t even describe how incredible the whole process was. It was an awesome experience.” ~ Scott Weaver      Read More …



At age 55, Brett Raven was experiencing chronic pain due to degenerating herniated disks causing vertebrae to rub against each other pinching nerves. Brett had decompression surgery in 1990, also called a “laminectomy,” to enlarge his spinal canal to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves. Part of a protruding disk in the L4-5 lumbar region was removed giving relief for about a year. However, as he said, over time, additional disk degeneration caused the pain to return. Brett had an MRI and his new orthopaedic surgeon, Christian N. Athanassious, M.D. with Santa Rosa Orthopedics, recommended that spacers be inserted between his deteriorating disks and that pins and screws be used to fuse the three vertebrae and realign the spine. On February 4, 2015 Brett had the surgery and a couple of weeks later was comfortable enough to walk two to three miles a day. His pain level had been dramatically reduced. Today Brett goes on hikes, lifts weights, is back driving a tractor and working in the vineyard tending 15,000 vines producing Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Noir varietal wines under the “FrostWatch” label. “I hope to get back on my bicycle in a few more months to help me keep up with my wife and kids, ages 14, 15 and 18. “Every week I feel a little bit better.”

“Dr. Athanassious is a very competent orthopedic urgeon. He’s also a good listener and I have a lot of faith in him. He did an excellent job on my back.” ~ Brett Raven        Read More …


“Dr. Athanassious’ work was impeccable, and with my sciatica gone I am thrilled to be back on stage!”
~Robert Keys
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For a consultation, please call 707-546-1922 (option #1) and request an appointment with Dr. Athanassious.

Santa Rosa Orthopaedics
1405 Montgomery Drive
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
(707) 546-1922

Mark West Springs
Santa Rosa Orthopaedics
Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation
34 Mark West Springs Road, Suite 300
Santa Rosa, Ca 95403
(707) 546-1922