Blog Articles

Do I Need Spinal Fusion Surgery if I Have a Herniated Disc?

Herniated discs are a pretty common source of back and neck pain, but fortunately, there are treatments that can help. Spinal fusion is one effective option, but it’s not always the best choice. Here’s how to tell if it’s right for you.

Aug 1st, 2022
5 Ways to Treat Your Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis happens when the space inside your spinal canal starts to get narrower, compressing your nerves. It’s uncomfortable, but there are plenty of ways to treat it. Here are five things you can do to relieve painful symptoms.

Jul 1st, 2022
Consider These Benefits of Spinal Fusion

Every year, thousands of Americans turn to spinal fusion surgery to relieve their chronic spine-related pain. If you’ve been wondering if spinal fusion could be a good choice for your pain, here are five benefits you should know about.

May 1st, 2022
Can a Herniated Disc Heal on Its Own?

Herniated discs are fairly common, but does that mean it’s OK to let them heal on their own? Here’s when — and why — you should seek medical care for a herniated disc.

Apr 1st, 2022
The Importance of Rehab After Spinal Surgery

Spinal surgery offers long-term relief for many types of chronic pain, and post-surgical rehab plays a critical role in locking in those results. If spinal surgery is in your future, here’s how a custom rehab plan may benefit you.

Mar 1st, 2022
Signs That You May Have a Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries affect thousands of people every year, but the signs aren’t always obvious. Learning to recognize the subtler symptoms can ensure you get vital medical care as quickly as possible. Here’s what to look for.

Feb 1st, 2022
Why Would Someone Need a Revision Spine Surgery?

Spine surgery helps many people relieve chronic pain and other symptoms. But sometimes pain can continue or come back after surgery. In those instances, revision surgery may help. Here’s when we typically recommend revision surgery.

Jan 1st, 2022
Recovery Tips To Implement Right After Your Spine Surgery

Spine surgery plays a critical role in relieving many types of chronic back pain and restoring flexibility and function. If spine surgery is in your future, here’s what to do to make your recovery process smooth and comfortable.

Dec 1st, 2021
3 Types of Spinal Tumors

Spinal tumors are rare, but their effects can cause significant symptoms that can become a lot worse over time. What’s more, not all spinal tumors are created equal. This post looks at the three types of tumors and where they occur.

Nov 4th, 2021
Symptoms and Treatment Options For Spine Tumors

Spine tumors are rare, and even though they may not be cancerous, they still need to be treated by an expert neurosurgeon as quickly as possible. Here’s how to recognize possible symptoms so you can schedule an evaluation right away.

Oct 10th, 2021
5 Most Common Reasons for Needing Revision Back Surgery

Back surgery is safe and effective for many types of chronic back pain. But like any surgery, there are rare instances when it isn’t as successful as you hoped. Here are five reasons you might need revision back surgery.

Sep 15th, 2021
Artificial Disc Replacement vs. Spinal Fusion

Today’s spine treatments use advanced techniques to relieve chronic back pain and improve quality of life. But sometimes the types of surgery can be confusing. Here’s a quick comparison of two of the most common types of spinal surgery.

Aug 19th, 2021
8 Helpful Things To Do Before Spine Surgery

Spine surgery can be the perfect solution to your back pain woes, but the success of your operation doesn’t entirely depend on the skill of the treating surgeon. You may also be surprised to learn that it’s not just what you do during your post-op...

Jun 17th, 2021
Heat Sensitivity After A Traumatic Brian Injury

Traumatic brain injuries can have long-lasting effects on how our brain processes and interprets information. One common complaint among TBI sufferers is that they frequently feel hot or suffer from what’s known as heat sensitivity.

Jun 10th, 2021
How To Prevent Back Pain On The Golf Course

The weather is warming up and the PGA Championship is under way, and that means there’s no better time for amateur golfers in Minnesota to head to the links to play a round of their own.

May 20th, 2021
How Safe Is Spine Surgery?

Every surgical procedure carries some risk, but when it comes to operating on a structure as intricate as your spine, just how safe is surgery? Advancements in both technique and technology have made it...

May 13th, 2021
What Does It Mean To “Throw Out” Your Back?

You’ve probably hear someone say that they’ve “thrown out” their back before, but what exactly does this mean? Is there a specific diagnosis associated with throwing out your back, or is it more of a catch all term for...

May 6th, 2021
Depression After Spine Surgery

Back pain and its treatment takes a tremendous toll on our physical and mental health, and even when treatment goes exactly as planned, depression can develop after surgery.

Apr 29th, 2021
When Your Back Doctor Won’t Listen

As we’ve said on the blog in the past, caring for your spine needs to be a collaborative approach between the patient and provider. Your doctor may have decades of medical experience,...

Apr 23rd, 2021
How Your Diet Can Help Or Hurt Your Spinal Arthritis

Arthritis is oftentimes a natural part of getting older as our joints eventually start to feel the effects of time and physical activity. We’ve talked about ways you can slow and treat spinal arthritis on the blog in the past,...

Apr 15th, 2021
Tips For Making Life Easier After Spine Surgery

Spine surgery is the first step in the right direction in terms of reducing pain and improving your physical function, but those rewards don’t happen as soon as the last suture is closed.

Apr 2nd, 2021
How To Prevent And Treat Morning Spine Pain

Everyone likes waking up feeling refreshed, but for many Americans, they dread getting out of bed in the morning because they know their first few steps will be accompanied by back pain.

Mar 4th, 2021
Treating A Pars Defect In The Spine

Your spine is an intricate and complex structure, and all it takes is one area to crack or shift in order for the whole system to be thrown into chaos. One such area that can be affected is the pars interarticularis.

Feb 18th, 2021
Will A Bulging Disc Eventually Herniate?

If you’ve been diagnosed with a bulging disc in your back, you may be wondering if that disc will eventually herniate. A bulging disc is certainly a precursor to a disc herniation, but does that make the condition an eventuality?

Jan 27th, 2021
The Most Important Controllable Factor Before Spine Surgery

If you are slated for spine surgery or expect to need a procedure in the future, you may feel like the success of your operation is out of your hands. While the skill of the surgeon plays a big role in your recovery, it’s far from the only factor.

Jan 21st, 2021
Dispelling Four Myths About Spine Surgery

Many people don’t have a lot of experience with spine surgery, so if they get to the point in life where they need an operation, they often turn to friends, family or the internet for answers to some of their most common questions.

Jan 14th, 2021
Will My Spinal Hardware Eventually Be Removed?

When correcting an issue in your spine, it is imperative that everything heals in precisely the correct location so that the spine remains stable. In order to ensure that structures heal where they should, artificial hardware is often inserted.

Jan 7th, 2021
What Your Back Spasms Are Trying To Tell You

Back spasms are far from the most troubling spinal condition, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. If your muscles routinely spasm, it means there is something causing them to perform suboptimally.

Dec 30th, 2020
Fixing A Non-Union After Spinal Fusion Surgery

A spinal fusion procedure is designed to help limit movement in an area of your spine by fusing two spinal vertebrae together. Although plates, screws and other surgical instrumentation are used, what eventually holds the section in place is the...

Dec 23rd, 2020
Diagnosing and Treating Vertebral Instability

There are a lot of moving parts in your spine, but even as it twists and turns it works hard to remain stable and provide support for other areas of your body. However, as time goes on, the vertebrae in our spine can become a little...

Dec 16th, 2020
Preventing Against Winter Head Injuries

Winter is coming, and that means we soon expect to see an uptick in head injuries from certain activities here in Minnesota. From winter sporting activities to black ice,...

Dec 3rd, 2020
How That Thanksgiving Meal Affects Your Brain

Even if your Thanksgiving will look a little different this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, odds are millions of Americans will still be filling up on turkey in some fashion.

Nov 24th, 2020
Understanding And Treating Brain Aneurysms

A brain aneurysm is a potentially life threatening condition that involves the bulging or ballooning of a blood vessel in the brain. If this bulge ends up leaking or rupturing,...

Nov 18th, 2020
How To Calm Anxiety Before Brain Or Spine Surgery

Even the smallest of surgeries can leave you feeling anxious, and the prospect of feeling stress is only amplified if your surgery is on a crucial area of your body, like your heart, brain or spine.

Nov 4th, 2020
How To Prevent Spine Pain When Raking Leaves

October is typically the month when most of the leaves drop off the trees in Minnesota, and while a lot of the state is currently covered in an early snow, odds are the weather will soon warm...

Oct 22nd, 2020
The 4 Most Common Causes Of Sciatic Nerve Pain

The sciatica nerve is the longest nerve in your body, so there are a number of different ways in which it can become compressed or damaged. Anyone whose ever dealt with sciatic nerve impingement or sciatica knows just...

Oct 15th, 2020
How To Treat Arthritis Of The Spine

Arthritis is one of the most common medical conditions that affects individuals over the age of 50, and while you’ve probably heard about the condition affecting the knee or hip, those aren’t the only joints prone to the arthritis.

Oct 8th, 2020
5 Tips For Protecting Your Aging Spinal Discs

Your spinal discs play a crucial role in helping to facilitate movement in your spine, but because of all the stress they handle on a daily basis, they can slowly start to erode.

Oct 1st, 2020
What Makes A Great Neurosurgeon?

If you need to undergo spine or brain surgery, you want to trust your care to the best in the business. But what makes a good neurosurgeon, and what factors should you be looking for when choosing who should perform your surgery?

Sep 24th, 2020
What Is A Discectomy?

A discectomy is a surgical procedure that helps alleviate issues caused by damaged spinal discs. Whether you’re dealing with radiating pain or nerve impingement caused by a shifted spinal disc,...

Sep 10th, 2020
How To Treat Ulnar Neuropathy

Ulnar neuropathy, sometimes referred to as ulnar nerve palsy or cubital tunnel syndrome, is a condition in which pressure or damage to the ulnar nerve causes symptoms and dysfunction in your hands and fingers.

Sep 3rd, 2020
5 Everyday Causes Of Neck Stiffness

You don’t realize how often you move, twist and turn your neck until you’re affected by stiffness and limited mobility in the area. Sometimes the reason behind your stiff neck is obvious,...

Aug 27th, 2020
How COVID-19 Affects The Brain

The novel coronavirus can have a significant impact on a number of different bodily systems. So far, we’ve mostly heard how COVID-19 impacts the heart, lungs and your respiratory system,...

Jul 30th, 2020
Treating The Long-Term Effects Of Traumatic Brain Injuries

They say that time heals all wounds, but the effects of a traumatic brain injury can sometimes linger for the rest of your life. For others, effective symptom management is key for treating and reducing the long-term effects...

Jul 21st, 2020
Kyphoplasty For Vertebral Fractures

Vertebral fractures typically occur as a result of significant trauma to the area, so they are not uncommon in actions like automobile accidents, falls and athletic activity.

Jul 2nd, 2020
How To Prevent The Need For Spine Surgery

In a perfect world, every health condition would be perfectly preventable, but alas, we don’t live in a perfect world. That being said, there are a number of spinal conditions that can either be prevented of have their likelihood mitigated by taking...

Jun 25th, 2020
How Long Does Artificial Disc Replacement Last?

If you have a replacement operation to address a health issue, you hope that one surgery will do the trick for the rest of your life. Surgical hardware is getting more durable and lasting longer as modern medicine advances, but maintaining the health...

Jun 18th, 2020
Diagnosing and Treating Herniated Discs In The Neck

If pain in the neck is being a real “pain in the neck,” you’re not alone. Millions of Americans deal with acute or chronic neck pain on a daily basis. Between physical activity, poor posture and natural degeneration as we get older, it should come...

May 28th, 2020
Understanding The Spinal Foraminotomy Procedure

If nerve irritation is causing you spine pain and physical therapy or similar conservative care techniques aren’t solving the problem, a surgical operation may be in your future.

May 21st, 2020
Treating Meningiomas Of The Brain

A meningioma is a complex type of brain tumor that develops from the layers of membrane that cover the brain and spinal cord. This may sound scary, and while they are certainly serious,...

Apr 30th, 2020
Why Fatigue Is So Common After A Head Injury

Head injuries can lead to a variety of symptoms, but one of the most common symptoms that often goes overlooked is the feeling of fatigue. Recovering from a traumatic brain injury can be both physically and mentally draining, and that can leave...

Apr 16th, 2020
What Is Disc Desiccation And How Is It Treated?

Disc desiccation is a common factor that contributes to the onset of the larger issue known as degenerative disc disease. Desiccation refers to the dehydration of your spinal discs, which makes them prone to faster degeneration.

Apr 2nd, 2020
6 Tips For Keeping Your Spinal Discs Healthy

Your spinal discs play a key role in helping your spine stay mobile, but they have to absorb stress in order to facilitate certain movements. Over time, this pressure can lead to disc degeneration, which can make movements painful.

Mar 26th, 2020
Our Response To COVID-19

At Midwest Spine & Brain Institute, we are committed to providing the best care possible for every single patient and family member that walks through our door. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak,...

Mar 19th, 2020
Non-Traditional Ways To Strengthen Your Back

Your spine plays a key role in helping you displace stress and move around, so it needs to be up to the task. The best way to help your spine be prepared for the rigors of daily activity is by strengthening and conditioning the area and its supporting...

Mar 13th, 2020
Why Might Someone Need Brain Surgery?

Brain surgery is often seen as the most complex and rare type of operation. After all, the phrase “Hey, it’s not brain surgery!” is rooted in truth. With that being said, brain surgery is more common than people imagine, as thousands of Americans...

Mar 4th, 2020
How To Treat Sciatica

Sciatica, also referred to as sciatic nerve impingement, is a condition in which damage or impairment of the sciatic nerve causes pain and related symptoms in your body.

Feb 27th, 2020
Patient Plays Violin During Brain Surgery

Surgery can seem like an especially nerve-wrecking experience as your operation date nears, but we always tell patients to focus on all the things they’ll be able to do again assuming their operation is successful. For other patients, simply...

Feb 20th, 2020
Treating Spondylolisthesis In Children

Active kids are often healthy kids, but all this activity during a stage in their life when their bodies are still developing can also lead to some injuries. If your child is complaining about back pain, inhibited range of motion and back stiffness,...

Feb 13th, 2020
Do You Need Brain Surgery After A Stroke?

A stroke occurs when blood flow to your brain is inhibited, and if you suffer one stroke your chances of having another go up dramatically. Many people want to do everything in their power after a stroke to prevent the onset of another one...

Feb 6th, 2020
A Closer Look At Neck Injuries In College Sports

Athletes twist and turn their spines during athletic competition, so it stands to reason that back injuries are pretty common, especially at the collegiate level. Recently, a study published in Spine decided to take a closer look at when,...

Jan 9th, 2020
Cell Phones Linked To Huge Spike In Head And Neck Injuries

Smartphones are becoming more popular than they were even just a few years ago, and more people in the world own a cell phone than ever before. Because a large portion of the population is relying more heavily on these cellular devices, there’s also...

Jan 3rd, 2020
Healthy Resolutions For Your Spine In The New Year

The new year is almost upon us, and that means it’s time to think about some of the healthy changes we want to make in 2020. When you’re thinking about your resolutions for this new year, we challenge you to keep your spine in mind.

Dec 26th, 2019
How To Treat Compressed Spinal Nerves

Your spinal cord consists of a collection of nerves that relay incoming and outgoing messages between the brain and the rest of your body. The cord is covered by protective layers called meninges, but that doesn’t mean it’s unable to become damaged.

Dec 20th, 2019
Dealing With A Misdiagnosis Of Your Spine Problem

Doctors and medical staff work tirelessly to help every single patient that walks through their door, but sometimes treatment doesn’t go as planned. A misdiagnosis can happen for a number of different reasons,...

Dec 12th, 2019
The Importance Of Getting Help After A TBI

When you break your arm or throw out your back, your response is to head to an emergency room or see your family physician. However, people don’t always follow this same line of care when it comes to head injuries,...

Nov 21st, 2019
How To Protect Your Spine (and Head) When Traveling

Winter is upon us here in Minnesota, and that means many Minnesotans have holiday visits or tropical vacations coming up in the near future. Spending time with family or exploring a new city can be fun,...

Nov 15th, 2019
Is There A Gender Gap When It Comes To Concussions?

When we think of head injuries in high school sports, your brain probably immediately goes to the male football player. This makes sense on the surface, but even though they wear helmets to help protect their head during collisions,...

Nov 7th, 2019