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558 St. Charles Drive | Suite 200
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

(805) 379-2322

Russell Nelson, MD

Orthopedic Spine Surgeon
Board Certified

Russell W. Nelson, M.D. is one of the premier orthopedic specialists in complex spine care in the country. Dr. Nelson brings his expertise directly to patients in and around the Ventura County community. Dr. Nelson provides comprehensive care of the spine and utilizes the latest technology as a foundation for helping patients.

In addition to his extensive experience and research in orthopedic spine surgery, Dr. Nelson is a co-developer of the Trinity cervical artificial disc replacement currently in U. S. investigation with Orthofix. These discs have been implanted outside of the United States and are currently in FDA investigation with Orthofix. Dr. Nelson’s current projects involve patented fusion technology which is currently under development with Pinnacle Spine Group.

An active complex spine surgeon for 30 years, Dr. Russell Nelson has performed thousands of surgical procedures to treat adult cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine problems for pain, scoliosis and spinal injury and fracture. Sought out by many professional organizations for his medical expertise, Dr. Nelson has given more than 50 presentations and is the author of 20 full-length peer-reviewed journals and medical texts focusing on reconstructive orthopedic surgery and spine disorders.

Download Dr. Nelson’s Full CV

Publications & Presentations

Dr. Nelson has presented research papers at national and international spine meetings on some of the most innovative techniques in spinal surgery. He has published numerous articles in peer reviewed scientific journals. Click on a heading below to view more of Dr. Nelson’s research.

Publications

  • D. A. Capen, R. W. Nelson, “Treatment of the Cervical Spine” Audio Digest, Medical Outlook, January 1985
  • D. A. Capen, J. E. Zigler, R. L. Waters, R. W. Nelson, J. Perry, “Occipito-Cervico-Thoracic Spine Fusion in a patient with Occipito-Cervical Dislocation and Survival” Spine, Vol. 11, No.6, 1986, pp 645-646
  • D. A. Capen, J. E. Zigler, N. Rockowitz, R. W. Nelson, R. L. Waters, “Posterior Cervical Fusion with Local Anesthesia, the Awake Patient as the Ultimate Spinal Cord Monitor” Spine, April 1987, Vol. 12, No.3, pp.206-08.
  • D. A. Capen, R. W. Nelson, J. E. Zigler, L. Anderson, N. Klein, “Staged Total Thigh Rotation Flap for Coverage of Chronic Recurrent Pressure Sores” Contemporary Ortho­pedics: June 1988, Vol.6, No.6, pp 23-20.
  • D. A. Capen, R. W. Nelson, J. E. Zigler, C. R. Sadler, Jr., “Cervical Laminectomy in Spi­nal Trauma” Contemporary Orthopedics: July 1988, Vol. 16, No.7, pp.22-30
  • D. A. Capen, R. W. Nelson, “Non-Operative Management of Cervical Instability” in the Spinal Cord Injured Patient, Comprehensive Management, edited by B. Y. Lee, L. E. Ostrander, G. V. Cochran, W. W. Shaw, W. B. Saunders 1991, pp 171-175
  • M. Gordon, D. A. Capen, J. E. Zigler, R. W. Nelson, D. E. Garland, S. Nagelberg, “A Comparison of Operative and Non-operative treatment in Fractures of the High Thoracic Spine” J. Spinal Disorders, Vo 1.3,1991
  • S. S. Hu, R. L. Rimoldi, D. A. Capen, R. W. Nelson, S. Nagelberg, J. C. Thomas, Jr. “The Effect of Surgical Decompression on Neurologic Outcome After Lumbar Fractures” Ab­stract, LeRoy C. Abbott Orthopaedic Society, Proceedings, May 1991, Vo1.22
  • R. L. Rimoldi, D. A. Capen, R. W. Nelson, S. Nagelberg, J. C. Thomas, Jr., “Bone Quality and Its Relationship to Tobacco Use: Abstract, Journal of the American Paraplegia Soci­ety, April 1992
  • D. A. Capen, R. W. Nelson, S. Nagelberg, J. C. Thomas Jr., R. L. Rimoldi, “Etiology of Spinal Cord Injuries: Significant Changes over Ten Years” Orthopedic Transactions, Vo1.17, No.4, 1996-94, p.1035
  • D. A. Capen, R. W. Nelson, S. Nagelberg, J. C. Thomas Jr., R. L. Rimoldi, “Etiology of Spinal Cord Injuries: Significant Changes over Ten Years” Orthopedic Transactions, Vo1.8, No. A, 1993-94, p.279
  • D. A. Capen, M. L. Gordon, J. E. Zigler, D. E. Garland, R. W. Nelson, S. Nagelberg, “Nonoperative Management of Upper Thoracic Spine Fractures” Orthopedic Review, Vo1.23, No. 10, October. ,1994, pp 818-821.
  • L.A. Jenkins, D. A. Capen, J. E. Zigler, R. W. Nelson, S. Nagelberg, “Cervical Spine Fusions for Trauma: A long-term radiographic and clinical evaluation, Orthopedic Re­view, Aspects of Trauma, November. 1994, pp 13-19.
  • J. Larsen, R. Rimoldi, D. Capen, R. Nelson, S. Nagelberg, J. Thomas, Jr., “Assessment of Pseudoarthrosis in Pedicle Screw Fusion: A Prospective Study Comparing Plain Radio­graphs, Flexion/Extension Radiographs, CA Scanning, and Bone Scintigraphy with Opera­tive Findings” Journal of Spinal Disorders, Col9, No.2, April 1996, pp. 117-121
  • G. Yoshida, R. Nelson, D. Capen, S. Nagelberg, J. Thomas, Jr., R. Rimoldi, W. Hayes, “Evaluation of Continuous Intraspinal Narcotic Analgesia for Chronic Pain from Benign Causes” The American Journal of Orthopedics, Vo1.25, No. 10, October. 1996, pp.693-694.
  • R.W. Nelson, “Non Surgical Management of Cervical Spine Instability” Comprehensive Management of Spine Trauma, Mosby 1998, pp. 134-143.
  • R.W. Nelson, D. Capen, E. Leppek, PA-C, “Nonoperative Management of Cervical Instability”, The Spinal Cord Injured Patient, Second Edition 2002, pp. 120-126.
  • R.W. Nelson, “XLIF in the Treatment of Levels Adjacent to Prior Surgery”, August 2008, Nuvasive White Paper

Presentations

  • February 1983 – “Stabilization of the Cervical Spine; A Comparison of Anterior and Posterior Fusion” American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Anaheim, California
  • May 1983 – Clinical Instructor, Chymopapain Course American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Chicago, Illinois
  • September 1983 – “Spinal Mobility and Body Mechanics” Port Hueneme Adventist Hospital
  • September 1983 – “Chymopapain” KEYT TV, Santa Barbara, California
  • November 1984 – “Spinal Injury” Holy Cross Hospital, Mission Hills, California
  • January 1984 – “Cervical Decompressive Laminectomy in Cervical Spine Trauma; A review of early and late complications” American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia; Co-Authors: Daniel A. Capen, M.D., Jack Zigler, M.D., Robert Waters, M.D., and Thomas V. Reiser, M.D.
  • February 1985 – “Treatment of Cervical Spine Fractures” American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • February 1986 – “The Technique of Posterior Cervical Fusion by Local Anesthesia”, D. A. Capen, R. W. Nelson; American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA
  • February 1986 – “Combined Anterior and Posterior Cervical Fusion for Cervical Instability” American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.
  • March 1986 – “Long Term Follow-up of Surgical Stabilization of Cervical Fractures” American Spinal Injury Association San Francisco, California
  • March 1986 – “Local Anesthetic Techniques for Stabilization of the Cervical Spine” D. A. Capen, R. W. Nelson American Spinal Injury Association San Francisco, California
  • March 1986 – “Complications of Surgery in the Quadriplegic Patient” Instructional Course-American Spinal Injury Assoc. D. A. Capen, R. W. Nelson San Francisco, California
  • March 1986 – “Efficacy of Halo Treatment in Cervical Spinal Cord Injury”, Instructional Course-American Spinal Injury Association. D. A. Capen, R. W. Nelson San Francisco, California
  • January 1987 – Symposium: Treatment of the Unstable Cervical Spine “The Non-surgical Stabilization of the Cervical Spine by Halo Vest Treatment” “Stabilization of the Cervical Spine by Anterior and Posterior Surgical Techniques” American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California
  • March 1987 – “Spinal Disorders and Disability” Instructional Course, Kauai, Hawaii
  • February 1990 – “Surgical Treatment of Lumbar Spine Disease” Jean Hanna Clark Rehabilitation, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • February 1992 – Instructor – Wiltse Pedicle Screw Device Advanced Spine-Instructional Course Washington, D.C.
  • February 1992 – “Re-operation following Posterior Spinal Arthrodesis using Wiltse Pedicle Screw Fixation” M. C. Hume, D. A. Capen, S. Nagelberg, R. W. Nelson, J. C. Thomas. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Federation of Spine Associations Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.
  • February 1992 – American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons American Spinal Injury Association-Moderator Symposium: Posterior Instrumentation for Spinal Trauma” Federation of Spine Associates Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.
  • May 1992 – “Bone Quality and Its Relationship to Tobacco Use” R.L. Rimoldi, D. A. Capen-presenter, R. W. Nelson, S. Nagelberg, J. C. Thomas, J. L. Larsen. American Spinal Injury Association Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • June 1992 – 6th Annual Low Back Pain Conference Las Vegas, Nevada “Neuroanatomy of the Lumbar Spine”
  • July 1992 – “Bone Quality and Its Relationship to Tobacco Use” R. L. Rimoldi, D.A. Capen-presenter, R. W. Nelson, S. Nagelberg, J. C. Thomas. North American Spine Society Boston, Mass.
  • November 1992 – “Bone Quality and Its Relationship to Tobacco Use” R. L. Rimoldi, D. A. Capen, et al. J. Larsen, M.D. presenter Southern Orthopaedic Association
  • December 1992 – “Long-term Result in the use of the Halo for Cervical Spine Fractures” T. Dunn, D. A. Capen-presenter, R. W. Nelson, S. Nagelberg, J. C. Thomas, R. L. Rimoldi, “Clinical Experience with the Andrew s Frame”, J. Larsen, D. A. Capen-presenter, R. W. Nelson, S. Nagelberg, J. C. Thomas, R. L. Rimoldi. “Assessment of Pseudoarthrosis in Pedicle Screw Fusion”, J. Larsen, D. A. Capen-presenter, R. W. Nelson, S. Nagelberg, J. C. Thomas, R. L. Rimoldi.
  • December 1992 – “Bone Quality and Its Relationship to Tobacco Use” R. L. Rimoldi, D. A. Capen-presenter H. Gruber, R. Nolan, J. C. Thomas, S. Nagelberg, R. W. Nelson Faculty-Bascules Lab: “Percutaneous Discectomy” American Back Society
  • February 1993 – American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California “Etiology of Spinal Cord Injuries: Significant Changes over Ten Years. D. A. Capen, M.D., R. W. Nelson, M.D., S. Nagelberg, M.D., J. C. Thomas, M.D., R. L. Rimoldi, M.D.
  • February 1993 – Moderator- Federation of Spine Associations American Spinal Injury Association AAOS Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California
  • February 1993 – AAOS – Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California “Bone Quality and Its Relationship to Tobacco Use” R. L. Rimoldi, M.D., D. A. Capen, M.D., Helen Gruber, Ph.D., S. Nagelberg, M.D., R. W. Nelson, M.D., R. Nolen, M.D., J. C. Thomas Jr., M.D.
  • April 1993 – “Surgical Treatment of Lumbar Disc Disease” CAAA Meeting, Anaheim, California
  • June 1993 – 7th Annual Low Back Pain Conference Las Vegas, Nevada “Evaluation of Low Back Pain”
  • October 1993 – “Etiology of Spinal Cord Injury: Significant Changes Over Ten Years”, D. A. Capen, R. W. Nelson, S. Nagelberg, J. C. Thomas Jr., R. L. Rimoldi, J. E. Zigler, North American Spine Society Annual Meeting San Diego, California
  • January 1994 – “Complications in Lumbar Spine Surgery” Advances in Spinal Surgery Santa Barbara, California
  • February 1994 – “Assessment of Pseudoarthrosis in Pedicle Screw Fu­sion”, J. M. Larsen, R. L. Rimoldi, D. A. Capen, R. W. Nelson, S. Nagelberg, J. C. Thomas, Jr. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • April 1994 – NASS/JSR “Spine Across the Sea” “Assessment of Pseudoarthrosis in Pedicle Screw Fusion”, J. M. Larsen, R. L. Rimoldi, D. A. Capen, R. W. Nelson, S. Nagelberg, J. C. Thomas, Jr .
  • April 1994 – NASS/JSR “Spine Across the Sea” “Pedicle Screw Fixation in the Elderly for Arthrodesis of the Lumbo-Sacral Spine: An Outcome Study” Greenfield, R. T., et al. Presenter: R. L. Rimoldi
  • April 1994 – NASS/JSR “Spine Across the Sea” “Evaluation of Continuous Intraspinal Narcotic Analgesia For Chronic Benign Pain” Yoshida, G. M., Nelson, R. W., Capen, D. A., Nagelberg , S, Thomas, J. C., Rimoldi, R. L.
  • June 1994 – Rancho Los Amigos Research Day Discussion: “Evaluation of Continuous Intraspinal Narcotic Analgesia For Chronic Benign Pain” Yoshida, Gregory M., Nelson, R. W., Capen, D. A. Nagelberg, S., Thomas, J. C., Rimoldi, R. L.
  • February 1995 – “Evaluation of Continuous Intraspinal Narcotic Analge­sia For Chronic Benign Pain Yoshida, G. M., Nelson, R. W., Capen, D. A., Nagelberg, S., Thomas, J. C. Rimoldi, R. L.
  • February 1995 – “Postoperative Wound Infection Post Adult Instru­mented Lumbar Spine Fusions” Kayvanfar, J. F., Capen, D. A., Thomas J. C., Nelson, R. W., Nagelberg, S. AAOS Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL
  • March 1995 – “Postoperative Wound Infection Post Adult Instru­mented Lumbar Spine Fusions” Kayvanfar, J. F., Capen, D. A., Thomas, J. C., Nagelberg, S., Nelson, R. W., Rimoldi, R. L., Haye, W. International Intradiscal Therapy Society Annual Meeting La Jolla, California
  • March 1995 – “Evaluation of Continuous Intraspinal Narcotic Anal­gesia for Chronic Benign Pain, Yoshida G, . M., Nelson, R. W., Capen, D. A., Nagelberg, S., Thomas, J. C. Ri­ moldi, R. L., Haye, W. lnternationallntradiscal Therapy Society Annual Meeting La Jolla, California
  • April 1995 – “Assessment of Pseudoarthrosis in Pedicle Screw Fu­sion” J. M. Larsen, R. L. Rimoldi, D. A. Capen, R. W. Nelson, S. Nagelberg, J. C. Thomas, Jr. California Orthopedic Association Annual Meeting, Torrey Pines, California
  • April 1995 – “Sensitivity of the Jamar Dynamometer in Detecting Submaximal Effort” Ashford, R., Nagelberg, S., Capen, D. A., Nelson, R. W., Rimoldi, R. L. California Orthopedic Association Annual Meeting, Torrey Pines, California
  • April 1995 – “Evaluation of Continuous Intraspinal Narcotic Anal­gesia For Chronic Benign Pain” Yoshida, G. M., Nelson, R. W., et al. California Orthopedic Association Annual Meeting, Torrey Pines, California
  • May 1995 – LeRoy C. AbbottNerne T. Inman Lectureship/ Scientific Program “Evaluation of Continuous Intraspi­ nal Narcotic Analgesia For Chronic Benign Pain” Yoshida, G. M., Nelson, R. W., Capen, D. A., et al.
  • May 1995 – LeRoy C. AbbottNerne T. Inman Lectureship/Scientific Program “Postoperative Wound Infection Post Adult Instrumented Lumbar Spine Fusions” Kayvanfar, J. F., Capen, D. A., Thomas, J. C., Nagelberg, S., Nelson, R. W., Rimoldi, R. L., Haye, W.
  • October 1995 – “Wound Infections after Instrumented Posterolateral Adult Lumbar Spine Fusions” Kayvanfar, J. F., Capen, D. A., Thomas, J. C., Nagelberg, S., Nelson, R. W., Rimoldi, R. L., Haye, W. North American Spine Society Annual Meeting Washington, D.C.
  • October 1995 – “Pedicle Screw Fixation in the Elderly for Arthrodesis of the Lumbosacral Spine: An Outcome Study” Greenfield, R. T., Capen, D. A., Rimoldi, R. L., Thomas, J. C., Nelson, R.W., Nagelberg, S., Haye, W. North American Spine Society Annual Meeting Washington, D.C.
  • October 2005 – Presenter of the Advent Cervical Disc at NASS, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • January 2006 – Presenter – Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Techniques – Blackstone Medical, International Sales Meeting

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