The present invention in an improved orthopedic appliance is for attachment in supporting engagement to a patient's spine, during an anterior surgical procedure thereof. The installed appliance provides for decompression of the contents of the spinal canal and/or is to obtain sufficient fusion mass to provide long-term spinal stability. The appliance incorporates a pair of contoured rocker arm brackets that are each attached to a separated vertebral portions of healthy vertebra, with a damaged or diseased vertebra therebetween. Spacing adjustment and columnar support between the brackets is provided by a single spacing adjustment rod whose ends are threaded oppositely and are turned into appropriately threaded portions of the brackets. A second slide rod is preferably provided that also extends between the brackets and is arranged to slide freely therein but preferably is arranged to accommodate nuts, or the like, turned thereon against the brackets to provide columnar support thereacross.