Becker's Top Spine Surgeons
World Class Spinal Care
World Class Spinal Care
You don't have to leave the Midwest to find world class spinal care. Rockford Spine Center is the only facility in Northwestern Illinois dedicated exclusively to diagnosing and treating spine issues. Three fellowship trained spine surgeons have teamed up to bring advanced diagnostic capabilities and cutting edge treatments to the region.
Patient Philosophy
Patient Philosophy
Patients are offered a variety of treatments from low-risk conservative options to state of the art surgical treatment. At Rockford Spine Center, you choose your course of treatment, not the doctor.
Specializing in surgical and non-surgical spinal disorders
Specializing in surgical and non-surgical spinal disorders
Our goal is to get patients back to their active lifestyle as quickly as possible. Our team of experts uses a multidisciplinary approach to treat the most complex spinal cases. We have an advanced understanding of the spine and specialize in both surgical and non-surgical spinal disorders.
Comprehensive Care
Comprehensive Care
Our state-of-the-art facility offers a comprehensive care setting where patients can obtain comprehensive testing, MRI, pain management, physical therapy and a thorough consult- all under one roof and often times during a single visit.
Getting Her Life Back
Getting Her Life Back
From wheelchair bound to flying high again. Bonnie shares her story of how spine surgery turned her life around.
Patient Stories Patient Education
Severe Spine Condition Required Faith a Solution Could Be Found



Rusty Hayes knows back pain.  A former football player who has always lived a vigorous and active lifestyle, he’s had surgeries in the past to repair spine and disc issues.  This time was different.

Working on his backyard deck last summer, he stood up and his back “seized up.” He couldn’t walk.  For the Senior Pastor at First Free Rockford, this was a serious and unwelcome interruption to his ministry and his life that required immediate action.

A visit to his primary care physician, followed by consultations from both a pain management therapist and orthopedic surgeon, showed the severity of the injury. The diagnosis? Recurrent disc herniations with radiating pain, numbness and tingling, along with severe and intractable back and leg pain.

Unfortunately, physical therapy, pain medication and even electrical stimulation from a TENS unit brought no relief. A referral to Rockford Spine Center brought Hayes to spine surgeon Christopher Sliva, M.D.

“Seeing Rusty for the first time, it was clear he was suffering,” recalls Dr. Sliva. “He had difficulty even walking across the room before he had to stop and rest.”

The solution? Expedited surgery.

 “From my first encounter with Dr. Sliva, I could tell that I was at a different place than what I’d experienced before,” Hayes recalls. “They have a tremendous team and it’s such an impressive facility. They spent time with my wife and me talking about the procedure and making a plan.”

A week later, Dr. Sliva and his team performed a transforaminal lumbar fusion on Hayes. The procedure removed two discs from between the vertebrae and then fused the vertebrae together, while “installing” two rods to stabilize the spine. 

“Immediate relief,” was what Hayes felt when he woke up and he recalls being able to stand up on the same day following the surgery.  For his surgeon, that brought immediate satisfaction as well.

“It’s gratifying to see how surgery can relieve the pain they were once experiencing,” says Dr. Sliva. “I see them right after the surgery and they have that initial relief.  Then, I’ll see them again post-surgery and they’re progressing and back to doing the things they were unable to do because of the pain. That’s very rewarding.”

Hayes’ recovery has progressed quickly and he’s back in the gym and weight training again. If you were walking alongside him, he’ll point out, you couldn’t tell that anything is different. And, most importantly, he’s back preaching again.

“I’ve had procedures in Dallas and in Boulder, Colorado,” says Hayes. “This was by far the best I’ve ever experienced. It’s high quality and nationally elite. It’s such a blessing to be able to get that kind of care here.”

Rockford Spine Center Surgeon Michael Roh, M.D., Presents at New York Presbyterian-Columbia University Medical Center
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