World-renowned spine and neurosurgeon Stephen Ritland, MD, joins NAH

Northern Arizona Healthcare is excited about the expansion of its orthopedic program, including the addition of world-renowned spine and neurosurgeon Stephen Ritland, MD, to the NAH team. He is now seeing patients at Northern Arizona Healthcare Medical Group – Flagstaff. Call 928-779-7880 to schedule an appointment.

Acclaimed communities deserve an acclaimed orthopedics team. Dr. Ritland is the first of several orthopedic surgeons who will be joining the NAH team this year to ensure patients' total orthopedic health.

Dr. Ritland is board certified in neurological surgery and has been practicing in Flagstaff since 1981. Patients travel from faraway places to receive care from him.

What is your care philosophy?

Each patient deserves the best possible treatment. This involves both the decision making for appropriate intervention and the technical achievement of surgical correction. Appropriate follow up is an essential component of excellent care. 

What do you enjoy about being in the field of medicine?

The privilege of being able to dramatically improve someone’s function and quality of life is balanced by the challenge and technical demands of providing consistent excellent outcomes with surgery. 

Tell us about your specialty. What drew you to it and what keeps you in it?

I continue to refine my understanding of pain and neurologic issues in a dynamic and multi-segmented structure with multiple potential failures, with the goal of optimizing necessary intervention and recognizing and respecting those changes, reflecting a normal response to recurrent stress on the spine, which may typically remain benign and not require intervention.

What are the areas of expertise and interest are you most excited about bringing to NAH?

I hope to help maintain and improve the high standards of care established by our current spine program at Flagstaff Medical Center.

What do patients tell you they appreciate about you? 

My attention to care and follow up provided by our practice. My willingness to address issues in spite of age and potential demands of care.

What are some of your achievements or recognitions?

I began microsurgical instrumentation and fusion procedures with locally made instruments in the 1990’s, leading to transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion, or the microTLIF procedure. I was instrumental in development of medially placed instrumentation as an anatomic and naturally minimal access approach to lumbar fusion, or mast MIDLF.