Friends Don’t Let Friends Get Fused

Dr. Kenneth Pettine

Kenneth Pettine (retired), who trademarked the phrase, “Friends don’t let friends get fused,” founded The Rocky Mountain Associates in Orthopedic Medicine in 1991 to ensure his patients have non-fusion surgical options.

Pettine has been the principal investigator for 18 Food and Drug Administration studies involving nonfusion implants, biologics, and stem cells, and is a pioneer in spinal stem cell therapy.

He has been featured as one of the top 50 Spine and Specialist Surgeons to Know in America, and is the recipient of numerous honors, a distinguished speaker at national and international symposiums, and the author of more than 20 research publications. Although no longer practicing medicine, Kenneth Pettine is a wealth of information with a vast background to provide you with necessary information regarding stem cells.

Kenneth co-invented the FDA-approved Prestige™ cervical artificial disc, and the Maverick Artificial Disc™. He has an extensive background in spinal surgery, research, and rehabilitation. His is board certified by the Board of Orthopedic Surgeons, and is a member of numerous organizations, including the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the North American Spine Society, the International Spinal Injection Society, and The Society for Ambulatory Spine Surgery, which he co-founded in 2011. He received his spine fellowship training at the Institute for Low Back Care in Minneapolis, MN. Pettine completed his residency and his master’s degree in orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He received his medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and his past appointments include Staff Orthopedic Surgeon and Chief of the Sports Medicine Clinic at Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Georgia, Associate Clinical Professor at the Medical College of Georgia, and Visiting Consultant at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Augusta, GA.


Maverick™ Artificial Lumbar Disc and Prestige™ Artificial Cervical Disc:
Patent No. 5,258,031 (Nov. 2, 1993)
Patent No. 5,425,773 (June 20, 1995)
Patent No. 5,562,738 (Oct. 8, 1996)

Bone Marrow Stem Cell Patent:
Patent No. 9,408,874 B2 (August 9, 2016)

Recent Honors

  • Featured in the Top 90 Spinal Surgeon Device Inventors & Innovators to Know in Becker’s Spine Review (September 2013)
  • Recipient of the Annual Spine Leadership Award by Becker’s Spine Review (June 2013)
  • Featured in Spine Surgeon Leaders to Know in Becker’s Spine Review (January 2013)
  • Honored by Access MediQuip in appreciation for time and commitment to increase quality and safety of surgical implants and procedures (2013)
  • Featured in the Top 12 Spine Surgeons Researching Disc Degeneration by Becker’s Spine Review (December 2012)
  • Featured in the Top 100 Spine and Specialists to Know by Becker’s ASC Review (February 2011)
  • Featured in the Top 50 Spine Surgeons and Specialists to Know by Becker’s Spine Review (February 2010)