Dr. Cathleen Van Buskirk, MD

Dr. Cathleen Van Buskirk, MD

Orthopedic Spine Surgery  |  
Female  |  
Age 54
Insurances AcceptedSave
Dr. Cathleen Van Buskirk, MD is an orthopedic spine surgery doctor who practices in Boulder, CO. She is 54 years old and has been practicing for 26 years.

4745 Arapahoe Ave Ste 300

Boulder, CO 80303

Contact Information

Insurance Accepted

  • Cigna
  • MultiPlan

*Please verify this information when scheduling an appointment.

Learn about Dr. Van Buskirk

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Top Care Areas


See how frequently Dr. Van Buskirk performs your care needs compared to other doctors.

Sciatica (Not Due to Disc Displacement)
very high
more than 94% of peers
very high
more than 91% of peers
Spine Disorders
very high
more than 88% of peers

Dr. Van Buskirk's percentages are based on the rate of treatment compared to peers nationwide from insurance data. Learn more info about our data and this Top Care Areas component.

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  • Orthopedic Spine Surgery

Board Certifications

  • Orthopedic Surgery
    Accredited by: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery*

Conditions Treated

  • Ataxia
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Back Pain
  • Bone Disorders
  • Bursitis
  • Cancer
  • Cervical Spine Myelopathy
  • Chronic Neck Pain
  • Chronic Pelvic Pain
  • Coccygeal Pain
  • Coccyx or Sacrum Fracture
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Degenerative Spine Disorders
  • Difficulty With Walking
  • Enthesopathy of Hip (incl. Trochanteric Bursitis)
  • Fracture
  • Gait Abnormality
  • Ganglion Cyst
  • Gout
  • Herniated Disc
  • Hip Sprain
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Joint Pain
  • Knee Disorders
  • Limb Pain
  • Low Back Pain
  • Lumbar Spine Fracture
  • Myelopathy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoarthritis of Hip
  • Osteoarthritis of Hip and Thigh
  • Osteoarthritis of Knee
  • Osteopenia
  • Pathological Spine Fracture
  • Peripheral Nerve Disorders
  • Post-Laminectomy Syndrome
  • Radiculopathy (Not Due to Disc Displacement)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sacrum Disorders
  • Sciatica (Not Due to Disc Displacement)
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spine Deformities
  • Spine Disorders
  • Spine Fractures, Traumatic
  • Spondylitis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spondylosis
  • Sprains and Strains (incl. Muscle Tear)
  • Thoracic Spine Fracture
  • Thoracic Spine Myelopathy


Read More


  • Decompression
  • Degenerative Disc surgery
  • Disc Surgery
  • Dural Repair or Other Spinal Cord Repair
  • Epidural Block, Facet Blocks
  • Herniated Disc Surgery
  • Lamina Procedures (incl. Laminectomy, Laminoplasty, Laminotomy)
  • Neuroplasty
  • Scoliosis Surgery
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Spinal Nerve Block
  • Spinal Reconstructive Surgery for Deformities
  • Steroid Injection

Background Check

0 Malpractice Claims

No malpractice history found for Colorado.

0 Sanctions

No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.

0 Board Actions

No board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.


  • Medical College Of Wisconsin
    Medical School | Graduated 1991
  • University Of Nm School Of Med
    Residency Hospital | Completed

Awards & Recognition

Awards & Honors
  • Healthgrades Honor Roll
Media & Publications

Dr. Van Buskirk has no media or publications listed.

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • French

Memberships & Professional Affiliations

Dr. Van Buskirk does not have any memberships or affiliations listed. If you are Dr. Van Buskirk and would like to add memberships or affiliations, please update your profile.

Dr. Van Buskirk's Reviews

Likelihood of recommending Dr. Van Buskirk to family and friends
based on 72 total reviews (35 with comments)
Dr. Van Buskirk's Performance
  • Trustworthiness
  • Explains condition(s) well
  • Answers Questions
  • Time well spent
Office & Staff Performance
  • Scheduling
  • Office environment
  • Staff friendliness
  • Average wait time
    Under 10 minutes
Patient Comments (35)
in Superior, CO |
I had back surgery 6 months ago and I am very pleased with the results. I am hiking, biking, working out at the gym. She takes the time to listen to you and makes suggestions. I would highly recommend her.
in Platteville Co |
I would refer friends and family to Dr. Van Buskirk without hestation! VERY GOOD at what she does! Great experience all around, Alex and the office staff, Charlie the dog all top notch! I was treated with care a concern for my condition at all times! They have done a wonderfull job! I feel 100% beter post op!
in Boulder |
Last August 2016 I had four discs fused by Dr. Van Buskirk in what was a very difficult case. I had palsy in my left fingers and was in intense pain. Just today, I had my last appointment with an all clear sign-off. I feel amazing and can not thank Dr. Van Buskirk enough. I didn't realize how messed up I was, until I had no nerve pain/damage or associated other pain (immediately). Also, I skied 40 days at Winter Park this winter too! Can't recommend her high enough to anyone with spine issues!
in Arvada, CO |
I suffered a very serious disk herniation in my neck, and I was in constant excruciating pain. My long time family friend and trusted primary care doctor who discovered my injury recommended I see Dr. Van Buskirk. No one wants to find them self in need of a spine doctor, but if you need one, you should Visit the Alpine Spine Center in Boulder Co. Dr. van Buskirk and her staff are absolutely excellent, I am now 6 weeks out of surgery, pain free, 90% recovered and improving every day.
in Boulder, co |
I've had excellent experiences with Dr. Van B. (and her staff) throughout the process of an intense spinal surgery. She has my complete confidence, which is important when facing scary and overwhelming procedures! She's also warm, compassionate, and patient. I highly recommend her.
in Denver, CO |
To diagnose the source of any illness from required patience, knowledge, paying attention to details, Dr. VanBuskirk has all the skill and experience in helping me. She is very thorough and knowledgeable. She takes her time with reviewing data and explains everything very thoroughly. She evaluates the pro & con to any medical procedure and provide recommendations that make sense. I have total trust in her analysis, and her skill as a surgeon.
in denver, co |
Dr. Van Buskirk has been an absolute godsend to me. I've been working with her on managing the degeneration in my spine for many years - always with positive results. She performed a multi-level fusion L4-S1 last summer. Now, six months later, I'm back pain free and well on my way to returning to my normal, very active life. Her patience, willingness to listen, and focused attention, are only a few of the characteristics that make her a fantastic Dr. and surgeon. I'd recommend her to anyone!
Longmont, CO |
I am return patient. Dr. Van Buskirk, had performed a back fusion for L5-S1 15 years ago. After one test, she knew what I needed and got it done. My back pain was gone. This year I had neck pain, after 4 steroid injections in my neck disc(s) to relieve the pain. (not a fun experience) I asked for a referral for Dr. Van Buskirk. She looked at my MRI, said "I can fix that" Fusion for C5-C7. In/out of procedure in 1 day. I am so grateful for her professionalism & skills. I highly recommend her.
in Boulder, CO |
After being misdiagnosed at the Urgent Care with back pain and sent home Dr Van Buskirk successfully repaired L4, L5 - S1 disks which had collapsed and caused foot drop. I cannot recommend Dr Van Buskirk highly enough. Full recovery, full use of my leg and foot back on the motorcycle vroom vroom! Even if surgery is not something you may be interested in you owe it to yourself to get this doctor's opinion! Thanks doc!
in Boulder, CO |
My experience with Dr. Van Buskirk was wonderful. My life pre- and post- surgery (for a hernitated disc) is like night and day. I feel like I can start to get my life back again and live pain free. I can't express how grateful I am to Dr. Van Buskirk for her skill and professionalism. And also her demeanor, which I really liked. I also want to thank Alex, her medical assistant, who is as competent at his job as she is at hers. I would not hesitate to recommend Dr. Buskirk to anyone.
in Boulder, CO |
I fully Trust that Dr. Van Buskirk is an excellent surgeon. However, I would not recommend her to patients who have just been diagnosed. I was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic scoliosis , and from the time I was small, I was told no other forms of physical therapy or treatment existed and surgery was the only option. I always felt pressured into surgery and very pessimistic due to her view on my curve. I ended up making mine better through physical therapy after I switched doctors.
in broomfield, co |
Twelve years ago Dr. Van Buskirk gave me my life back. After Vioxx was taken off the market my life became pure pain. Other doctors indicated that the best they could do was refer me to a pain specialist. Dr. Van Buskirk said 'I know what wrong with you and I can fix it.' She successfully fused C5,6,7 and I've been pain free for twelve years. More recently she accurately diagnosed another problem. This time it was numbness in my left arm. She recommended PT and I'm now recovering nicely.
in Brighton, CO |
Dr. Van Buskirk provided excellent care with me as the patient in mind. I was in extreme pain and she, along with her staff moved quickly to order the MRI which allowed the doctor decide the appropriate route to eliminate my nerve pain. Dr. Van Buskirk and her staff efficiently took care of all the paperwork from the doctors note, to the prescriptions, to the insurance pre authorizations. I highly recommend Dr. Van Buskirk and her staff, they are experienced and knowledgeable.
in Boulder, Colorado |
Having severe back and leg pain I was referred to Dr. Van Buskirk and am thrilled with the outcome of her treatment of my ailment which consisted of surgery to perform a Lumbar Spine Laminectomy. It has been 6 weeks since the surgery and I am pain free and on my way back to normal activities with daily exercise to rebuild endurance and muscle strength.
in Superior CO |
Dr Van Buskirk performed a lumbar microdiscectomy and foraminotomy at L4/L5. I'm 6 weeks out at the moment and my recovery has been excellent. The numbness and loss of coordination in my left leg was fairly severe, it's returned to 80% and continuing to improve. I chose her because 1) she was 1 of 3 opinions and found issues in my images that the other 2 surgeons missed. 2) her credentials and experience. And 3) the huge amount of time she spent with me at each appointment. Very much recommend.
in DErieenver, CO |
Had a herniated disk, she did a mico discectomy. It didn't fix the problem. Second surgery she took out spinal process bones. Still didn't fix the problem. Went to another doctor, he did a micro discectomy and fixed the issue.
in morrison, co |
Dr. Van Buskirk has followed my adult scoliosis for years, helping me stay healthy. When I recently had a compression fracture she has guided me through this painful experience with the best care I could ever have hoped for.
in lafayette, co |
Dr. Can Buskirk did an excellent job on my microdisectomy. She was professional and personable.
in Boulder, CO |
Dr. Van Buskirk was thorough in her diagnostic process, ordering appropriate tests and imaging. She didn't start out assuming surgery was the answer, but it was. She always explained things thoroughly and answered our questions. She has a kind and caring demeanor with patients.
in Loveland, CO |
Dr. VanBuskirk is very thorough and knowledgeable. She takes her time with you, explains everything very thoroughly and has a terrific sense of humor! This was my first surgery - ever - and she made me feel very comfortable and at ease.
in grand junction, co |
Dr. Van Buskirk operated on my lower back and I am very pleased with all aspects of my care. She and her team are very effective and caring. I already have recommended to another patient and would do so again if i find others needing her care
in Lyons CO |
Dr. Van Buskirk treated me for very painful sciatica and I have been extremely happy with the surgery and results. Dr. Van Buskirk was very professional and took a lot of time to explain my condition and how the surgery would work. I have recommended Dr Van Buskirk to several friends and acquaintances.
Denver, CO |
From the first appointment to the post-surgery appointment, I have been extremely pleased with Dr. Van Buskirk. At all times I felt like I was with a true professional who had my best interests and improved health outcomes as her priority. If I ever need any spinal surgery again, she would be my surgeon of choice. Excellent doctor!
in Brighton, CO |
Dr. Van Buskirk's surgery results were outstanding. My pain has definitely subsided and I'm living a life of more quality of life than ever before. Thank you Dr. Van Buskirk
in Boulder, CO |
There is not room here for the long review that I composed. Both my daughter and myself have had spinal surgery by Dr Van Buskirk. She is the best.
in Brighton, CO |
Dr. Van Buskirk is a very knowledgeable surgeon. She has exactly the right balance between professionalism and patient interaction. She listened and gave advice without making me feel I was being forced into having surgery. I had sciatica pain for several weeks. I was not sure that I needed surgery, but it was not getting better. The surgery lasted 1 hour. I was able to walk right away. It took a few days before all pain completely subsided, but now I am able to do all normal activities.
in Boulder, CO |
Dr Van Buskirk took excellent care of me and went above and beyond to accommodate me and my needs. She came in on days off, early hours to help me deal pre-surgery and post-op. She answered all my questions and was more then patient in explaining everything to me. Not only was the whole experience great but the surgical results are beyond compare!
in Louisville, CO |
Dr. Van Buskirk came recommended to me by one of my doctors and a friend. I was experiencing horrible nerve pain from my neck and shoulder through my arm with numbness in my fingers due to a bulging disc. One never wants to hear that they need immediate surgery, however Dr. Van Buskirk put my fears at rest and I felt confident moving forward. Fusion of C6-7 went well & while I still have some numbness in my fingers, my overall recovery has been great & 8 months out I am doing most activities.
in Boulder, CO |
I felt like Dr Van Buskirk was genuinely interested in getting the best outcome for me. Also, I liked the whole concept of the minimally invasive surgery. Don't do more than required to get the results you want.
in Westminster, CO |
Dr. Van Buskirk did a phenomenal job on my partial laminectomy & foraminotomy on my L4/L5, S1/S2. I had horrible nerve pain down my leg & foot for a decade & it is gone! So thankful. Her staff was great & my experience could not have been more positive. I highly recommend her!
in Arvada, CO |
Dr. Van Buskirk did surgery on my neck and no surgery is wonderful, but my pain was so well managed and my recovery was complete. Before surgery I could not do dishes, type or perform most daily chores without extreme pain and now I am pain free and able to do anything I want too. Dr. Van Buskirk and her office are wonderful and I appreciate all they did for me during my surgery and recovery. They're the best.
in Phoenix, AZ |
Doctor Van Buskirk was the only doctor I found, after several years of procedures from various sources that agreed my condition should have been treated surgically. Since my surgery in 2013, I have enjoyed a much greater quality of life and have considerably less pain. I have regained the full use of my right arm and hand, as well as not having to rely on multiple medications and their associated side effects. I have, and will continue recommend her to others.
in Broomfield, CO |
Dr. Van Buskirk is phenomenal! I had back pain for 20 years. When I went to first visit her (recommended highly to me from another happy patient of hers) I was optimistic, but also ready for the standard you need to get a fusion. She is very confident, and pointed out areas on my MRI that the initial report didn't even show, and did not suggest a fusion! I elected to have surgery asap with her, and for the first time in 20 years, I have zero pain in my back. I can not thank her enough!
in Boulder, CO |
I had a spinal fusion for a bilateral pars fracture at L5 back in 2008 and I highly recommend Dr. Van Buskirk. I went to a few different people around Boulder- chiropractors, physical therapists, a neurosurgeon (who basically told me I had nothing wrong with me and gave me about 5 minutes of his divided time) and then finally Dr. VB. She was very compassionate and knew right away that surgery was the right solution. Awesome bedside manner. She may be a bit more conservative than others, though.
in Boulder, CO |
I had a severe back disk issue that was using extreme pain. I spent 5+ years and thousands of dollars trying every kind of treatment I could find...shots, stem cells, acupuncture...you name it. Finally, I found Dr. Van Buskirk.She listened to my story with true compassion. She did not jump to easy conclusions,but instead ran a series of diagnostic tests to make sure she truly understood the source of my pain. Only then did she make a recommendations. She performed a VERY successful fusion.
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Now Accepting New Patients
Dr. Van Buskirk accepts 2 insurance carriers
  • Cigna
    Cigna HMO
    Cigna PPO
    Open Access Plus
  • MultiPlan
    MultiPlan PPO

*Please verify this information when scheduling an appointment.

Hospitals where Dr. Van Buskirk has admitting privileges

Boulder Community Health
1100 Balsam Ave
Boulder, CO 80304
View Hospital Profile
North Suburban Medical Center
9191 Grant St
Thornton, CO 80229
View Hospital Profile
Good Samaritan Medical Center
200 Exempla Cir
Lafayette, CO 80026
View Hospital Profile