Phelps C. Kip, M.D.

Head shot of Dr. Phelps C. Kip
headshot of Dr. Phelps C. Kip

Phelps C. Kip, M.D.



Dr. Phelps Kip, MD is a Orthopedic Surgery Specialist in Reno, NV and has over 37 years of experience in the medical field. He graduated from University At Buffalo State University Of New York School Of Medicine medical school in 1985. He is affiliated with medical facilities Renown Regional Medical Center and Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center. His office accepts new patients.

Medical Licensure

Professional Memberships

AMA logo
washoe county medical society logo
US Ski Team Logo
Personal Affiliation
achieve tahoe logo
charity smith logo


Fellowship - Spine Surgery, Department of Orthopaedics

July 1992 – June 1993

Baylor University
6550 Fannin, Suite 2625
Houston, TX 77030

Fellowship - Sports Medicine, Aspen Orthopaedic Associates

December 1991- May 1992

East Main Street, Suite 101
Aspen, Colorado 81611

Fellowship - Total Joint Replacement, Joint Implant Surgeons

September 1991 – November 1991

Columbus, Ohio

Residency - Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Orthopaedics
July 1987 – June 1991

SUNY at Buffalo
Buffalo, New York

Emergency Room Physician
July 1986- July 1987

Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Kenmore, NY,

Internship - Surgical, Department of Surgery
July 1985 – June 1986

SUNY at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY

Medical School
September 1981 – June 1985

SUNY at Buffalo, School of Medicine
CFS Hall, Buffalo, NY

Honors & Awards


Assistant Clinical Professor

Family Practice Resident Program
University of Nevada, Reno 2002 – Current

Assistant Clinical Professor

Sports Medicine Fellowship Program
University of Nevada, Reno 2009 – current


Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Spine Trauma Panel,
Renown Regional Medical Center, 2008 to present

Board of Directors

Disabled Sports. Non profit organization for recovery from physical disability through sport therapy.

Board of Directors

Charity Smith National Memorial Fund


“History of Spinal Disorders” Renown Medical Center, June 24, 2008

“Sports and Low Back Pain” 4th Annual Spine Conference, Lake Tahoe, CA 2002

“Advances in the Cervical Spine” 3rd Annual Spine Conference, Lake Tahoe, CA 2001

“Axial Cage; New Device For An Old Procedure in the Treatment of Higher Grade Spondylolisthesis,” North American Spine Society, Seattle, Washington, October 2001.

“Axial Cage; New Device for an Old Procedure in the Treatment of Higher Grade Spondylolisthesis,” Western Orthopaedic Association, 65th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, September 2001.

“Degenerative Cervical Disc Disease,” AO Operating Room personnel course, Sparks, Nevada May 1999.

“Advances in Internal Fixation of the Cervical Spine,” American Back Society, Las Vegas, Nevada, Annual meeting, December 1998.

“Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion- Technical Aspects,” University of California, San Francisco, Spine Conference, October 1997.

“A Biochemical and Clinical Comparison of Pars Defect Repairs,” North American Spine Society, Annual Meeting, October 1993.

“Sixth Dorsal Compartment Tenosynovitis,” AOA Residents Conference, 1991.

“Effect of Electrical Current on a Bone Tumor Model,” Western New York Orthopaedic Association Meeting, 1985


Kip: “Wounded Warriors Project”, We’ve Got Your Back Magazine, October 2009.

Kip: “The Real Heal,” Outside, June 2009. Quoted as an expert for article pg 104-105.

Kip and Hunter: “Cervical Spinal Fractures in Alpine Skiers,” Orthopaedics, August 1995

Esses, Nutout and Kip: “Posterior Inter-body Arthrodesis with Fibular Strut Graft in Spondylolisthesis,” Journal Bone and Joint Surgery, February, 1995.

Kip, Esses, Doherty, et al: “Bio-mechanical Testing of Pars Defect Repairs,” Spine, Volume 19, 1994.

Kip and Primer: “Release of the Sixth Dorsal Compartment,” Journal of Hand Surgery, July 1994.

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Artificial Disc Replacement

At Sierra Regional Spine Institute, we believe that the future is restoration of anatomy and function through motion. The artificial disc replacement is the answer to that problem. Sierra Regional Spine Institute continues to be a leader in Nevada when disc replacement surgery is needed.
It is a surgical procedure in which degenerated intervertebral discs in the spinal column are replaced with artificial disc implants in the lumbar or cervical spine.

The procedure is used to treat chronic, severe low back pain and cervical pain resulting from degenerative disc disease.

Artificial disc replacement has been developed as an alternative to spinal fusion, with the goal of pain reduction or elimination, while still allowing motion throughout the spine. Another possible benefit is the prevention of premature breakdown in adjacent levels of the spine, a potential risk in fusion surgeries.

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Revision Spine Surgery

Revision spine surgery is a surgery procedure performed in certain patients to correct the problems of earlier spine surgery. Revision surgery is only when working with patients who experience chronic pain or any worsening symptoms even after the initial surgery.
Other factors that can indicate the need for revision spine surgery include:

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At Sierra Regional Spine Institute we use Decompression in a few ways to treat and make the process of recovery smoother for people with fractures: Microdiscectomy, Microendoscopic Laminectomy, Minimally Invasive Cervical Foraminotomy (MICF), Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty.


Microdiscectomy, also called microlumbar discectomy (MLD), is a very common MIS decompression procedure performed in patients with a symptomatic lumbar herniated disc. The operation consists of removing the portion of the intervertebral disc that is herniated and compressing a spinal nerve root.

Minimally Invasive Cervical Foraminotomy

This is a MIS cervical foraminotomy decompression procedure that enlarges the space in which a spinal nerve root exits the cervical spinal canal (intervertebral foramen). This narrowing can be caused by a herniated disc, bone spurs, thickened ligaments or joints, which may result in pinched nerves.


Vertebroplasty for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) was introduced in the United States in the early 1990s. The procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis, although some patients stay in the hospital overnight. The procedure may be performed with a local anesthetic and intravenous sedation or general anesthesia.

Using x-ray guidance, a small needle containing specially formulated acrylic bone cement is injected into the collapsed vertebra. The cement hardens within minutes, strengthening and stabilizing the fractured vertebra. Most experts believe that pain relief is achieved through mechanical support and stability provided by the bone cement.
Kyphoplasty involves an added procedure performed before the cement is injected into the vertebra. First, two small incisions are made and a probe is placed into the vertebral space where the fracture is located.

The bone is drilled and one balloon (called a bone tamp) is inserted on each side. The two balloons are then inflated with contrast medium (which are visualized using image guidance x-rays) until they expand to the desired height and removed. The spaces created by the balloons are then filled with the cement. Kyphoplasty has the added benefit of restoring height to the spine.

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Cervical Fusion

Cervical Fusion is an operation that creates a solid union between two or more vertebrae in the upper spine (neck) area. This procedure may assist in strengthening and stabilizing the spine and may thereby help to alleviate severe and chronic back pain.
The best clinical results are generally achieved in single-level fusion, although fusion at two levels may be performed in properly selected patients.

Bone grafts may be taken from the hip or from another bone in the same patient (autograft) or from a bone bank (allograft). Bone graft extenders and bone morphogenetic proteins (hormones that cause bone to grow inside the body) can also be used to reduce or eliminate the need for bone grafts.

Fusion sometimes involves the use of supplemental hardware (instrumentation) such as plates, screws, and cages. This fusing of the bone graft with the bones of the spine will provide a permanent union between those bones. Once that occurs, the hardware is no longer needed, but most patients prefer to leave the hardware in place rather than go through another surgery to remove it.

Fusion can sometimes be performed via smaller incisions through MIS techniques. The use of advanced fluoroscopy and endoscopy has improved the accuracy of incisions and hardware placement, minimizing tissue trauma while enabling an MIS approach.

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Lumbar Fusion

This is a MIS technique that is performed in patients with refractory mechanical low back and radicular pain associated with spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease, and recurrent disc herniation. The procedure is performed from the back (posterior) with the patient on his or her stomach.

Using x-ray guidance, two 2.5-cm incisions are made on either side of the lower back. The muscles are gradually dilated and tubular retractors inserted to allow access to the affected area of the lumbar spine.

The lamina is removed to allow visualization of the nerve roots. The disc material is removed from the spine and replaced with a bone graft and structural support from a cage made of bone, titanium, carbon-fiber, or a polymer, followed by rod and screw placement.

The tubular retractors are removed, allowing the dilated muscles to come back together, and the incisions are closed. This procedure typically takes about 3 to 3 1/2 hours to perform.

Outcome & Benefits

Pioneers of both surgical and non-surgical techniques


Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

MIS was first performed in the 80s but has recently seen rapid advances. Technological advances have enabled surgeons to expand patient selection and treat an array of spinal disorders, such as degenerative disc disease, herniated disc, fractures, tumors, infections, instability, and deformity.
This can result in quicker recovery, decreased operative blood loss, and speedier patient return to normal function. In some MIS approaches, also called, “keyhole surgeries,” surgeons use a tiny endoscope with a camera on the end, which is inserted through a small incision in the skin. The camera provides surgeons with an inside view, enabling surgical access to the affected area of the spine.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery

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