After-Hours Urgent Ortho Care is now available in Wilton, Monday to Friday from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Saturdays from 12:00 to 4:00 pm. Walk-ins welcome.

Physician Spotlight on Dr. Robert Merrill

How did you get interested in spine surgery?

I became interested in medicine at a younger age when my father was diagnosed with bone cancer and required a lifesaving operation. Seeing my dad receive such amazing care influenced me to pursue a career in medicine. I was drawn toward the field of spine surgery specifically because there are often several different ways to approach the same problem, allowing for a very patient-specific treatment plan. The operations we do in spine surgery also dramatically improve patient’s quality of life.

What is your practice philosophy?

Spine surgery has come such a long way and continues to advance at a very rapid pace. The technology being developed is truly remarkable and we’re just scratching the surface—surgical navigation and robotics allow us to perform effective operations in the most minimally invasive and safest ways. This is exciting for patients because through these techniques we can generally get them back to work and life quicker.

Why is it important for patients to see a specialist when they have back and neck pain or other spinal issues?

Spine surgeons are highly trained with a breadth of knowledge of neck and back issues. Even if surgery is not indicated for a patient’s situation, an orthopedic spine surgeon can still provide treatments to help improve a patient’s condition.

Spinal treatments have come such a long way and continue to advance. The technology being developed is truly remarkable and we’re just scratching the surface—particularly minimally invasive spine surgery, robotics, and surgical navigation. It’s an exciting time to be a spine surgeon.

What are your personal interests?

I enjoy fitness, cooking, and traveling. My favorite thing in the world is to spend time with my wife and son.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is that I have the opportunity to greatly improve the quality of life of my patients. I’m able to help patients get back to a more normal, pain-free life and that is very rewarding.