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Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery

108 Frontage Rd. West, Suite 206
Vail Colorado , 81657

Thank you Dr Sterett and Team

Thank you for the great care and follow up. After missing an entire ski season I am thrilled to be back hiking, biking and playing tennis this Summer and Fall.Your team was great at returning messages and fitting me in for last minute appointments. I will gladly recommend you to all of my friends. Thanks again and counting the days til the Mountain opens and I can ski on my new and improved knee. I would also like to thank Natalie at Mediquip for being there for brace adjustments!

I have my life "back"! (Dr. Braxton)

I'm an almost 72-year old grandmother, artist and partially retired educator who has always been healthy and active. When a flared-up chronic back condition no longer responded to spinal injections that had always worked before, I was motivated to seek surgical options. Gladly, my search led me to Dr. Braxton. I appreciated his warmth, thorough assessment of my MRI and his ability to attentively listen and ask questions about my past history. I especially liked his conservative approach to my situation, which was to fix the most necessary things first and wait to see if a spinal fusion might be necessary in the future. It felt like a no-brainer to opt for minimally invasive surgical procedures that would relieve a herniated disc and L4/L5 stenosis, which was impeding my ability to walk. I'm thrilled to say that after suffering for almost a year, all my pain is now gone, except for slight numbness in one foot which continues to improve. Because of Dr. Braxton's expertise and his skilled, compassionate staff, I'm continuing to get stronger and returning to an active life with no pain. I'm optimistic about being able to ski with my grandkids next winter. My only regret is that I didn't find Dr. Braxton sooner!

Thank You! (Daniel Woods, PA)

We had a three day weekend and Daniel helped us get through and make it to opening hours at Vail Summit orthopedics. He Was on call 247 and was able to give us advice, prescriptions and appointment. A total saint! Very knowledgeable about anything Orthopaedics/ pain management

First Class Doctor and Staff (Dr. Scott Raub)

Scott and his staff are First Class

One of the smartest things I ever did. (Dr. Braxton)

Surgery was no longer an option for me, it was a mandate. An L5-S1 fusion was on my horizon and I was hesitant. Dr. Braxton was direct yet compassionate with me during each of our visits and if I had any questions in the interim he was invariably quick to respond. My results were stunning. I convalesced well, healed quickly and I’m pain free now (and slightly taller). When I encountered problems with circumstances surrounding my surgery I feel that he went far, far above and beyond what would normally be required from a surgeon. In an era which the ”turn and burn” patient care concept is sadly prevalent, I was blown away by the attention I received, the quality of care I was offered and the time that was spent in an effort to ensure that this was achieved. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Why did I wait so long... (Dr. Cafferky)

In 2014 I was living and working outside Boston, developed pain in my right hip and was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and shortly thereafter had to give up running, golf and skiing. I retired in 2015 (age 58) and my wife and I moved back to Colorado after many years. Being back in Colorado and not being able to fully enjoy outdoor activities was awful. I finally decided to explore what options were available and our son, a ski patroler at Beaver Creek, recommended VSO. I met with Dr. Cafferky and his team and made the decision to go ahead with hip replacement surgery in March 2018. To make a long story short, the results were amazing, I was in the hospital for only one night and up and moving the next day. I experienced little if any pain and started physical therapy shortly thereafter (the PT group associated with VSO was great !). In June 2018 I summited Mt. Democrat (1st 14er !) and then Mt Quandary in August 2018. I can’t say enough positives about Dr. Cafferky and his team ! So wish I had not waited so long ! (I'm in the red fleece)

Dr Erik Dorf is the best!

Dr Dorf came highly recommended after providing excellent care to many of my active Summit County friends whom he's helped with hand, elbow, and shoulder surgeries. He expertly repaired my dominant wrist fracture. Dr Dorf is not only an established, well respected orthopedic surgeon, but he deeply cares about helping members of our community. Thank you so much, Dr Dorf!

Dr. Peter Janes & Rayanne Harris, NP-C Knee Arthroscopy

I have worked in the healthcare industry for over twenty years in several capacities. I have also had two previous knee surgeries. With that being said, the surgical duo of Dr. Peter Janes and Rayanne Harris, NP-C is one that brings a combination of professional experience and knowledge, empathy, encouragement, fantastic communication skills (which have usually been very poor in my prior professional and personal experiences), and, perhaps most importantly, concerned follow up after the procedure. They are both very approachable; and they are very good listeners when it comes to patient questions, input, and feedback. These are the types of qualities you all should be looking for in your health care professionals. I found them and am glad that I did. Please feel free to contact me for a reference.

Dr. Joseph - Our bad experience was exceptional

Unfortunately my daughter fell while skiing at Beaver Creek and fractured her clavicle, requiring surgery. From the ski patrol, the ENTIRE staff at the medical clinic at the base of the mountain (the receptionist was VERY good as well, explaining what could happen depending on her injuries prior to her arrival there while the ski patrol was bringing her down the mountain), the valet guys at Vail Health Hospital, the pre-op, Dr. Joseph, the anesthesiology team and the post-op team, our bad experience was exceptional. One never expects to go on a vacation and end up having surgery. Being in the health-care field myself, I'm usually always on the giving side. Now I know first-hand how important good communication and patient/family care is on the receiving end. Thanks!

A Big Thank You! (Dr. Cafferky)

Three months ago, I underwent a total knee replacement. My experience with Dr. Nathan Cafferky and PA Daniel Wood and rest of the Team was awesome. I am now able to walk 23 blocks with my hiking poles and ride my bike longer distances. A big thank you

Dr. Elton & Kelli are awesome!

Dr. Elton and Kelli are awesome!! Unfortunately this is my second surgery with them. They were so great the first time 1 1/2 years ago. I wanted them to do this surgery on my other leg when I broke it on Sunday. Thank you so much!!! I’ll be back on my Snow Bike once again.

Dr. John Paul Elton

“Excellent. After swapping from a surgeon in Alaska, Dr Elton picked right up and went to work! The surgery to remove a fixation screw went swimmingly, and all the follow-ups were very professional and comforting. I'll be having to see him again this year and likely next, and can say confidently that I have no worries on that. Your team at both the office and the surgery center was also awesome! Highly recommend you guys again.”

Dr. Ernest Braxton - World Class Care!

My lower back issues began with a football injury in high school in 1963. Through the years, I would experience a flare up every 10 years or so, usually following an ill advised activity, such as long stretches sitting in the car or lifting a bucket of sand out of a car trunk. I had a workman’s comp claim in the mid-80s set off by digging up irrigation lines that resulted in nearly two years of chiropractic treatment.


The condition was relatively dormant until the spring of 2014, when a flare up after skiing resulted in my first round of epidural shots administered by Dr. Thos Evans at the Steadman Clinic. By the time I had the treatment, nerve damage had left me with numbness in my calf and big toe on my left side and dropfoot in my left foot.


Remarkably, this treatment provided immediate pain relief and lasted nearly four years, providing relief from the debilitating pain experienced in the initial flare up. However, the MRI taken revealed the source of the problem: the degeneration of the discs in the L3-L4-L5 area of the lumbar region. In the fall of 2017, while I was completing physical therapy treatments for an April total right knee replacement, I began to experience pain across my left glute area and down the lateral left side of my quad/IT band and later in my left big toe. The pain was present any time I was walking or standing.


Fortunately, I had very little pain when sitting or lying down. In October 2017 I scheduled another round of shots with Dr. David Karli of the Steadman Clinic. Dr. Karli and my physical therapist Meredith Mueller of Axis Sports Medicine both concurred that the reappearance of the symptoms was probably triggered by my favoring my right side over my left during the time before the replacement and during the physical therapy afterward. This round of shots provided some relief, but not the scope or immediacy of the first treatment. The relief from this round of shots lasted until early January, when I caught a very serious cold with 24 hour a day coughing for nearly two weeks. The stress inflicted on my back from the coughing completely negated any benefit I gained from the October treatment. I had another round of shots from Dr. Karli in mid-February- this treatment provided even less relief than the October treatment had. I


n a last round of desperation, I scheduled another, as it turned out final, round of shots from Dr. Karli. He requested another MRI to see if the condition had deteriorated since the original MRI from 2014, which it had. This treatment also resulted in minimal relief, and Dr. Karli suggested that I consider surgery. He suggested a doctor in Denver that he had had prior experience with for some of his previous patients.


Not really wanting to go to Denver for the procedure and inevitable follow up appointments, I reached out to four friends in the medical profession here in Eagle County. They were: Bri Hirsch Maher PA, Lindsey Adams NP, Dr. Jean Hadley of Colorado Mountain Medical, and Meredith Mueller of Axis.


All were very enthusiastic about recommending that I contact Dr. Braxton for an explanation of the XLIF procedure he was using for lumbar surgery. My initial appointment with Dr. Braxton convinced me that he was the surgeon I wanted to fix my back. I found him to be very personable and approachable, and his explanation of the procedure was compelling and reassuring. 


I was also enthusiastic about the reduced recovery aspect of XLIF, having had friends who had the traditional procedure and suffered through extended rehab afterward. While he suggested that I might want to get additional opinions, I had already decided to schedule the surgery based on my impression of Dr. Braxton. When he expressed that his main goal was to help people, I had absolutely no reason to question his sincerity. My surgery was performed on 8/2/18. Within hours of my procedure, I was up and walking with absolutely no sign of the extraordinary pain I had experienced for over a year, which has not returned.


The progression of my recovery has been exactly as portrayed at my initial consultation. On 9/2/18 I was able to take a two mile hike on flat terrain. On 9/23/18 I completed the Berry Picker trail on Vail Mountain, which encompassed 3.2 miles and 2200 feet of vertical gain with no issues other than tired legs from not quite having regained my conditioning, which to be honest was less than optimal after a year of debilitating pain from my condition.


As I proceed with my physical therapy with Meredith, I can feel my strength returning week by week. My goal is to be ready for the upcoming ski season, and I trust Dr. Braxton’s assessment that I’ll be ready with time to spare. I would unequivocally recommend to persons with issues in their lumbar region such as mine that they consider Dr. Braxton and Dr. Schoeff as their surgeons. The care I received at every step of the way from Drs. Braxton and Schoeff, Vail Summit Orthopaedics, and the Vail Surgical Center was absolutely world class. I’m looking forward to my completed recovery and return to the activities that have made my life here in Eagle County so rewarding.

Recommend Dr. Cunningham

“The meniscus surgery Dr. Cunningham did helped me return to my normal skiing after a year that had me severely limited due to the pain in my right knee. The recovery time was short and mostly painless. I recommend him to anyone with this problem.

Skillful, Professional and Personal

“My first visit (2002) was for a fractured ankle. It was a mess. Over the years I've seen Dr. Janes regarding the ankle. He's always been professional and personal answering any questions I have had. Great bedside manners. I've also seen Drs. Dorf and Elton. Again, very professional and personal answering any questions I have had along with good bedside manners. They are the types of doctors everyone is looking for. Skillful, Professional and Personal ”

Professional and Efficient (Dr. Sterett)

“Dr. Sterett and his team were very professional and efficient. They obviously knew what they were doing. I had a total knee replacement and had transitioned from a walker (two days) to crutches (five days or so) and then to a cane (about two weeks.) They warned me that how well I would do with my knee would depend on my dedication to rehabilitation. That proved to be most true. I figured on about four months to get maximum result. I worked hard, but it was closer to six months. But, then I am 76; so, I suppose I just don't recover quite as rapidly as I did as a younger man. Still, the end result is excellent. My other knee is just as bad (no cartilage). When the time comes to replace that one, I'll be seeing Bill again. ”

Top Notch Attention (Dr. Dorf & Annie Bowman, PA)

“Top notch attention for a rather small, but important, fracture in my son's thumb. Annie Bowman saw my son, set his thumb, got it in a cast and a month later he was as good as new. Dr. Dorf saw my son as well, but Annie did such a great job, it was a no brainer for Dr. Dorf! He's only 15 and getting an injury this small taken care of are important so all the little injuries don't add up to a great big injury! ”

Dr. Cunningham Meniscus

“The meniscus surgery Dr. Cunningham did helped me return to my normal skiing after a year that had me severely limited due to the pain in my right knee. The recovery time was short and mostly painless. I recommend him to anyone with this problem.”