Timothy J. Birney, received his BA from Dartmouth College and obtained his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh, graduating cum laude in 1983. Following his residency at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Birney completed a fellowship in spinal surgery at the State University of New York in Buffalo, New York, under Dr. Edward H. Simmons. Dr. Birney is a Denver spine specialist, specializing in spinal disorders, and has been a practicing partner with Western Orthopaedics, P.C. since 1989. He is Board Certified and is a Fellow with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons as well as a member of the North American Spine Society. He is also a a member of the Colorado Orthopedic Society, Colorado Medical Society, Denver Medical Society and the Simmons Surgical Society. In addition to his practice at Western Orthopaedics, P.C., Dr. Birney is a well-respected speaker and publicist on spinal disorders and sees patients once a month at outreach clinics in Kansas.
My Approach to Treating Patients
As a Christian physician, my intention is to care for all my patients as I would a family member or friend. The treatment of spinal disorders can be quite challenging. Sometimes, clear-cut diagnoses aren’t readily apparent, and treatment options are limited. On the other hand, more often than not, specific diagnoses can be pinpointed and effective treatment pursued.
Technological advances in spinal surgery have proceeded at a greater pace than in other areas of orthopedics, and have opened new avenues of care not previously available with less invasiveness. Examples include balloon kyphoplasty for treatment of compression fractures, the X-STOP device and microdecompression for treatment of spinal stenosis, the use of dynamically-stabilizing pedicle screw instrumention without fusion, and spinal cord/peripheral nerve stimulation for palliation of chronic pain syndromes not treatable with conventional surgery. Nerve entrapment syndromes are especially amenable to surgical intervention, although predictable outcomes with surgery for spinal pain per se remain a problem. Many spinal conditions remain responsive to nonoperative care, and I limit surgical intervention to appropriate indications.