Blog Archive

5 Most Common Reasons for Needing Revision Back Surgery Sep 15th, 2021

Spinal surgery is a safe, effective way to treat chronic back pain that just won’t resolve with nonsurgical approaches.  Yet even though the majority of spinal surgeries have successful outcomes, some patients continue to experience pain or other symptoms long after their procedure. This is sometimes referred to as failed...

Artificial Disc Replacement vs. Spinal Fusion Aug 19th, 2021

About 6 million Americans suffer from chronic back pain, including pain caused by spine joint and disc problems. While some chronic back pain improves with conservative options, like physical therapy and medication, other back problems require surgery. At his practice in Roseville, Minnesota, David Chang, MD-PhD, DABNS, offers both artificial...

How Effective Are Steroid Injections in Relieving Back Pain? Jul 19th, 2021

Eight out of every 10 Americans will have back pain at some point in their lives, including chronic back pain that interferes with simple activities like climbing stairs, sitting at a desk, or even getting a good night’s sleep.  Pain medication can help with some types of back pain, but...

When You Should Seek a Specialist for Back Pain and How to Choose the Right One for You Jun 30th, 2021

Back pain affects an astounding 80% of adults. For many, the underlying problem isn’t serious, and the pain goes away on its own. But for one in five, a bout with back pain turns into a chronic, disabling condition. Though your pain and limited mobility are top concerns, back pain...

8 Helpful Things To Do Before Spine Surgery Jun 17th, 2021

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 rehabilitation that will help spur...

Heat Sensitivity After A Traumatic Brian Injury Jun 10th, 2021

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. As you might imagine, heath sensitivity only intensifies during the warm summer months, and left...

Treating The Most Common Type Of Compression Fracture Jun 3rd, 2021

A spinal compression fracture develops when too much stress is placed on a vertebral segment, causing it to fracture in one of a few different ways. As we talked about in this blog, there are a few different types of spinal compression fractures, but the most common is known as a wedge...

How To Prevent Spine Pain On Summer Road Trips May 27th, 2021

Memorial Day weekend is almost here, and the unofficial start of summer means that many Minnesotans will soon be taking their first road trip of the year. Whether you’re traveling to a specific destination or you’re just planning on hitting the open road and taking in the beauty this state...

How To Prevent Back Pain On The Golf Course May 20th, 2021

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. Golf can be a lot of things, and if you’re not careful, it can...

How Safe Is Spine Surgery? May 13th, 2021

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 such that spine surgery is much safer than it was just decades ago, but it’s still...

What Does It Mean To “Throw Out” Your Back? May 6th, 2021

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 various spinal conditions? In today’s blog, we take a closer look...

Depression After Spine Surgery Apr 29th, 2021

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. But why is depression an all-to-common side effect after spinal surgery, especially when treatment helps to resolve pain? We take a closer...

When Your Back Doctor Won’t Listen Apr 23rd, 2021

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, but you bring a lot of helpful information to the table as well, so if you’re feeling like...

How Your Diet Can Help Or Hurt Your Spinal Arthritis Apr 15th, 2021

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, but today, we want to explore the relationship between your...

How To Treat Back Pain That Keeps You Up At Night Apr 8th, 2021

Back pain can be an extremely frustrating condition to deal with, especially when it rears its ugly head at the end of the day when all you want to do kick back and relax. Throbbing back pain is unfortunately quite common at nighttime because your body is now feeling the...

Tips For Making Life Easier After Spine Surgery Apr 2nd, 2021

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. It’s going to take some time, patience and hard work on your end during the recovery stage,...

What Happens If My New Spinal Hardware Breaks Or Shifts? Mar 23rd, 2021

Spinal hardware is used in a number of different procedures to help increase stability or facilitate healing after an injury. Rods, screws and plates are all common forms or hardware that are inserted, and while they are quite durable, they aren’t a perfect solution. Sometimes your spinal hardware can shift...

Why A Spinal Cord Injury And Daylight Savings Time Are Similar Mar 11th, 2021

Daylight savings time will happen this weekend, and we’ll lose an hour in the early hours of Sunday morning. When we spring our clocks forward in March, many people feel the effects of this lost sleep for a few days. Our internal body clocks can get thrown off and we...

How To Prevent And Treat Morning Spine Pain Mar 4th, 2021

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. Morning spinal pain is a common condition, but that doesn’t mean you need to grit your teeth and...

3 Ways You’re Hindering Your Recovery After Spine Surgery Feb 25th, 2021

Everyone wants to make a full recovery after their spinal operation, but it’s not enough to just want it, you have to actively work for it. However, if you go about it the wrong way, you can actually end up slowing your recovery or making your condition worse. In today’s...

Treating A Pars Defect In The Spine Feb 18th, 2021

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. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at...

Tips For Managing Your Emotional Health After Spine Surgery Feb 11th, 2021

Spine surgery is a significant physical undertaking, but your physical health isn’t the only aspect that needs to be monitored and cared for in the wake of an operation. A spinal operation can also be emotionally taxing, and sometimes this aspect of your health can get overlooked during your recovery....

Why A Healthy Diet Is So Important After Spine Surgery Feb 4th, 2021

You should always strive to make healthy choices when it comes to your diet, but that sentiment rings even truer after spine surgery. Your body is in a weakened state following a spine procedure, so it’s important that diet contributes to your recovery instead of hindering it. In today’s blog,...

Will A Bulging Disc Eventually Herniate? Jan 27th, 2021

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? In today’s blog, we explain why you’ll want to actively...

The Most Important Controllable Factor Before Spine Surgery Jan 21st, 2021

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. In...

Dispelling Four Myths About Spine Surgery Jan 14th, 2021

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. Unfortunately, while these sources may be well...

Will My Spinal Hardware Eventually Be Removed? Jan 7th, 2021

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. But once healing has run its course, will this hardware be...

What Your Back Spasms Are Trying To Tell You Dec 30th, 2020

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. However, if we know why muscles spasm, we can help understand what’s going on with our spine...

Fixing A Non-Union After Spinal Fusion Surgery Dec 23rd, 2020

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 growth and union of a bone graft in the area....

Diagnosing and Treating Vertebral Instability Dec 16th, 2020

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 more mobile, and this...

Spinal Fluid Breakthrough Could Provide Earlier Alzheimer’s Diagnosis Dec 10th, 2020

Alzheimer’s disease is an excruciatingly difficult condition for both an individual and their family. The condition can lead to cognitive decline and memory issues, but like many conditions, the earlier intervention begins, the more successful treatment tends to be. However, one issue with Alzheimer’s is that it’s tough to diagnose...

Preventing Against Winter Head Injuries Dec 3rd, 2020

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, the winter season can quickly lead to a severe head injury if you’re not careful. In today’s blog, we take a...

How That Thanksgiving Meal Affects Your Brain Nov 24th, 2020

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. And if your Thanksgiving meal involves turkey, you’ve probably heard how the bird contains an amino acid called tryptophan...

Understanding And Treating Brain Aneurysms Nov 18th, 2020

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, it can cause a hemorrhagic stroke in the brain, which needs to be treated as soon as possible. Today, we...

Symptoms And Treatment Options For Moyamoya Disease Nov 12th, 2020

Moyamoya disease is a little known neurological condition that has made the news in recent months after Vince Murdock, a professional MMA fight, was diagnosed and treated for the condition. In short, moyamoya disease is a condition categorized by a narrowing of the carotid artery in the skull, which in turn...

How To Calm Anxiety Before Brain Or Spine Surgery Nov 4th, 2020

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. While we don’t handle heart surgeries at our clinic, we do perform complex spine...

Radiofrequency Ablation For Neck Or Back Pain Oct 28th, 2020

Neck and back pain are oftentimes caused by improperly firing nerves or from nerves that are regularly transmitting pain signals due to being compressed or damaged. Sometimes a surgeon can address the issue by freeing the compressed nerve with a decompression procedure, but if that is unlikely to do the...

How To Prevent Spine Pain When Raking Leaves Oct 22nd, 2020

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 and we’ll be left with a bunch of wet leaves across our lawn....

The 4 Most Common Causes Of Sciatic Nerve Pain Oct 15th, 2020

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 how annoying the condition can be, and getting to the bottom of...

How To Treat Arthritis Of The Spine Oct 8th, 2020

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. Your facet joints in your spine can also develop arthritis, and...

5 Tips For Protecting Your Aging Spinal Discs Oct 1st, 2020

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. Some of this degeneration is natural, and it occurs extremely slowly over the years as you age....

What Makes A Great Neurosurgeon? Sep 24th, 2020

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? We explain what makes a good neurosurgeon in...

The Causes and Treatment Options For A Tethered Spinal Cord Sep 17th, 2020

A tethered spinal cord is a catch-all term for spinal conditions that restrict the cord’s movement at its base. If your spinal cord can’t move freely in the spinal canal, it can become damaged by its restriction. A tethered spinal cord can develop for a variety of reasons and can...

What Is A Discectomy? Sep 10th, 2020

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, a discectomy may be the perfect operation for you if conservative care can’t solve the problem. In today’s blog, we...

How To Treat Ulnar Neuropathy Sep 3rd, 2020

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. Symptoms can come and go as you move your arm and bend your elbow, so you...

5 Everyday Causes Of Neck Stiffness Aug 27th, 2020

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, like if you were involved in a rear-end collision, while other times patients can be left scratching their...

Questions To Ask Before Your Disc Replacement Operation Aug 19th, 2020

Spinal disc replacement is becoming more common as technology and surgical techniques improve, but that doesn’t mean you should just book your replacement operation and leave everything else to your surgeon. Odds are you’ll have some questions and anxiety, and talking to your surgical team prior to your operation can...

Don’t Let Back To School Season Be Hard On Your Child’s Spine Aug 13th, 2020

Back to school season is in full swing, and although everything is up in the air because of COVID-19, we thought it would be prudent to share some tips to help take some pressure off your child’s spine this year. Assuming the school year resumes as it normally would, here...

Could Heavier Individuals Be At A Higher Risk For Alzheimer’s Disease? Aug 6th, 2020

As a person’a weight increases, so too does their risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, according to a new brain imaging study presented in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. In one of the largest studies examining the link between brain dysfunction and obesity, researchers analyzed over 35,000 functional neuroimaging scans involving more...

How COVID-19 Affects The Brain Jul 30th, 2020

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, but we’re starting to learn more about how the virus affects the brain and neurological system, and the information is...

Treating The Long-Term Effects Of Traumatic Brain Injuries Jul 21st, 2020

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 of traumatic brain injuries. In today’s blog, we take a closer look...

Sports-Related Pediatric Head Injuries On The Decline Jul 16th, 2020

In a time when good news is a little bit harder to come by, there’s this – head injuries in youth sports are on the decline. According to research published in the July 2020 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, head injuries in youth contact sports have been falling off after...

Preventing 5 Common Causes Of Pediatric Concussions In The Summe Jul 9th, 2020

While this summer may be a little different than normal, there’s a good chance your children can still get outside and stay active while still keeping their risk of catching the coronavirus on the low end. And while COVID-19 may be making all the headlines, another threat to our children’s...

Kyphoplasty For Vertebral Fractures Jul 2nd, 2020

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. Similar to how they can develop for a variety of reasons, vertebral fractures can also be addressed in a couple of different manners....

How To Prevent The Need For Spine Surgery Jun 25th, 2020

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 certain precautions. In today’s blog, we take a...

How Long Does Artificial Disc Replacement Last? Jun 18th, 2020

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 of your hardware doesn’t happen by accident....

The Difference Between A Neurologist and A Neurosurgeon Jun 11th, 2020

You may have heard the terms neurologist and neurosurgeon used interchangeably, but these are actually two separate positions that help patients with a variety of neurological conditions. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at the difference between these two neurospecialists, and we explain which one might be right...

Carotid Artery Surgery – The Operation and Recovery Time Jun 4th, 2020

Your carotid arteries are two major blood vessels on either side of your neck that provide a critical blood supply to the brain and head. When fatty deposits develop in the area, it can put you at a heightened risk for a blood clot that can disrupt blood flow to...

Diagnosing and Treating Herniated Discs In The Neck May 28th, 2020

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 as no surprise that cervical...

Understanding The Spinal Foraminotomy Procedure May 21st, 2020

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. There are a few different operations that your spine specialist can perform based on your specific issue, but one of the most...

What Should You Be Doing Before Your Spine Surgery? May 14th, 2020

Spine surgery is often viewed as the final option for treating a difficult spinal condition, but it shouldn’t be viewed as a magic solution that will rid of you all your pain. The work you put in both before and after your operation will dictate how full a recovery you...

5 Tips To Consider When Recovering From Neck Surgery May 7th, 2020

If your neck pain has progressed to the point where it’s disrupting your daily life, or it’s simply not responding well to conservative treatment, it may be time to consider neck surgery. A neck procedure can help with a variety of conditions, like a pinched nerve, a bone spur or...

Treating Meningiomas Of The Brain Apr 30th, 2020

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, this is preferred to a tumor that arises from the brain tissue itself. In fact, a meningioma...

Common Back Issues That Can Lead To Spinal Nerve Compression Apr 23rd, 2020

Your spinal nerves are part of a complex system that run throughout your spine and extend to your extremities. If any part of one of these nerves becomes compressed or irritated, it can lead to localized or shooting pain. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at some back...

Why Fatigue Is So Common After A Head Injury Apr 16th, 2020

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 you feeling more fatigued than normal. In today’s...

How Nanoparticles Could Shape The Future Of Brain Cancer Treatment Apr 9th, 2020

Cancer is oftentimes viewed as the most difficult health condition to treat, and this problem becomes amplified when it occurs in the most complex organ in our body – the brain. When malignant tumors are found in the brain region, the average life expectancy is only about 14 months from...

What Is Disc Desiccation And How Is It Treated? Apr 2nd, 2020

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. Below, we take a closer look at why this condition develops, how you can...

6 Tips For Keeping Your Spinal Discs Healthy Mar 26th, 2020

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. If you want to ensure you have a healthy spine long into your...

Our Response To COVID-19 Mar 19th, 2020

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, we have been re-evaluating protocols to ensure we continue to provide the best care possible while...

Non-Traditional Ways To Strengthen Your Back Mar 13th, 2020

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 structures. But...

Why Might Someone Need Brain Surgery? Mar 4th, 2020

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 undergo precautionary and lifesaving procedures each and...

How To Treat Sciatica Feb 27th, 2020

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. Your sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body, and it’s formed by the union of five nerve roots in your...

Patient Plays Violin During Brain Surgery Feb 20th, 2020

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 maintaining the status quo is all they want following a surgical...

Treating Spondylolisthesis In Children Feb 13th, 2020

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, consider having them examined by a spine specialist....

Do You Need Brain Surgery After A Stroke? Feb 6th, 2020

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, but a number of factors are...

What Back Spasms Are Telling You About Your Spine Jan 30th, 2020

When a muscle spasms, it’s your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t right. It could be a sign of a minor issue, or it could suggest a larger underlying problem. Below, we take a closer look at some of the more common reasons why you may develop muscle...

How To Cope With The Mental And Emotional Side Effects Of Back Pain Jan 19th, 2020

Back pain is often seen as just a physical injury, but oftentimes there’s more too it than just that. Back injuries can prevent us form doing the activities we love, they can keep us out of work and they can leave us yearning for the mobility we once had. All...

Functional Ultrasound A Gamechanger For Brain Surgery Jan 15th, 2020

When it comes to brain surgery, neurosurgeons want to be as precise as possible, but sometimes it’s difficult to know exactly where healthy tissue stops and tumor tissue begins during brain surgery. However, we may soon be better able to view the brain in real time during surgery thanks to...

A Closer Look At Neck Injuries In College Sports Jan 9th, 2020

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, where and how these injuries occurred among college athletes. In today’s blog, we...

Cell Phones Linked To Huge Spike In Head And Neck Injuries Jan 3rd, 2020

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 a growing interest in the role...

Healthy Resolutions For Your Spine In The New Year Dec 26th, 2019

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. Below, we share some tips...

How To Treat Compressed Spinal Nerves Dec 20th, 2019

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. When a vertebral disc or another spinal structure...

Dealing With A Misdiagnosis Of Your Spine Problem Dec 12th, 2019

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, and while we work hard to prevent a misdiagnosis, when you’re working with the complexities of your...

What Is Cervical Myelopathy And How Is It Treated? Dec 5th, 2019

Myelopathy is a nervous system disorder that results from trauma or compression to the spinal cord. When the problem is housed in your neck, this is known as cervical myelopathy. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at why cervical myelopathy develops, what symptoms it brings and how to...

5 Ways To Avoid Back Pain While Decorating For The Holidays Nov 29th, 2019

Thanksgiving is in the rearview mirror, and that means it’s time to get ready for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or the winter season in general. Maybe you’re getting a tree, hanging lights or just decorating the home, and while these activities can be a fun way to get in the spirit...

The Importance Of Getting Help After A TBI Nov 21st, 2019

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, which is a shame because alongside your heart, your brain...

How To Protect Your Spine (and Head) When Traveling Nov 15th, 2019

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, but the travel involved with these visits can be a pain, especially if you...

Is There A Gender Gap When It Comes To Concussions? Nov 7th, 2019

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, football is hardly far and away the most dangerous sport in terms...

The Neuroscience of Fear and Your Brain Oct 31st, 2019

Halloween night is here! Whether you’re planning on dressing up and taking your kids Trick or Treating, heading to a Halloween party or just shutting the lights off and watching a scary movie, Halloween night has something for everyone. The holiday also piques the interest of neurosurgeons and anyone interested...

Can You Guess Which Three High School Sports Had The Most Concussions? Oct 24th, 2019

Sports are a great way for teens to meet new friends and learn skills like teamwork and leadership, but athletic activity also puts their physical health at risk. Sports are especially popular among high schoolers, but kids are getting stronger and faster as they progress through high school, and this...

Non-Surgical Ways To Decompress Your Spine Oct 17th, 2019

Compression in the spine is a common cause of pain for patients of any age. That compression can be the result of a bone spur that is causing inflammation, from the natural degeneration and narrowing of our spinal canal, or because a disc shifted and upset a nearby group of...

What Patients Are Saying About Their Care With Dr. Chang Oct 10th, 2019

We love helping patients put their spine or brain condition in the past, and we love hearing from satisfied patients. We can tell you about the level of care we strive to provide each patient, but we know that hearing it from others who have gone through our system and...

Treating Burners and Stingers In The Neck and Spine Oct 3rd, 2019

Have you ever had a burning or stinging sensation in your neck, shoulder or arm after a fall or collision with a person or object? If so, you’ve likely suffered what’s known as a burner or stinger. These injuries were named after the symptoms that are often felt when they...

A Parent’s Guide For Managing TBIs in Children Sep 26th, 2019

When our children get hurt, we want to do everything in our power to help them recover, and while every injury is different, most parents have a general sense of how to care for certain injuries, like a broken arm or a sprained ankle. The same can’t always be said...

How To Treat Spinal Discitis Sep 19th, 2019

Spinal discitis is a medical condition categorized by the onset of inflammation between intervertebral discs of your spine. These discs are located between your vertebrae and act as cushions to facilitate movement, but when swelling develops in this area, pressure and pain can set in. In today’s blog, we take...

How To Prep Each Room Of Your House Before Spine Surgery Sep 12th, 2019

When it comes to having a successful rehab after spine surgery, you’ll want to put in some work before you go under the knife to make your life a little easier post-op. One of the biggest things you can do to help your rehab along is to prep your house before...

How Just One Brain Injury Can Cause Long-Term Brain Problems Sep 5th, 2019

Professional football gets underway tonight when the Packers take on the Bears, so get ready for another news cycle of how concussions and head trauma can have significant effects on long-term brain health. That’s the focus of today’s blog as well, because a recent study in the journal Science Translational Medicine shined the spotlight...

Daily Habits To Improve Your Spine Health Aug 29th, 2019

Everyone wants to have great spine health, but it’s easier said than done. That being said, there are some things you can do on a daily basis that can improve your spine health without greatly changing your regular routine. In today’s blog, we spotlight some ways you can improve your...

5 Common Pitfalls That Can Derail Surgery Recovery Success Aug 22nd, 2019

Although medical technology continues to get better, there’s no guarantee that your surgery will go exactly as expected. However, if you know how to prepare for surgery and are aware of the potential obstacles in your way of success, we’re confident that you will have a great chance at making...

Back To School Spine Safety Tips Aug 16th, 2019

Another school year is rapidly approaching, and soon kids will be throwing on their backpacks and traversing the hallways on their way to class. But with the new school year brings a number of potential causes of spine and neck pain. In today’s blog, we share some tips so your...

These Common Household Items Cause Thousands Of TBIs in Kids Aug 8th, 2019

New research centered around understanding the common causes of traumatic brain injuries in children found that roughly 3 out of 4 TBIs involve a consumer product registered with the US Consumer Protection Safety Commission. In today’s blog, we shine the spotlight on some of the most common household items that...

Identifying and Treating Morning Back Pain Aug 1st, 2019

For most individuals with back pain, they have the most discomfort at the end of the day after their spine has handled the physical stress each day brings. But for a smaller subset of individuals, their pain is heightened in the morning. So what might be the cause of this...

What To Do When You’ve Tried Everything For Your Back Pain Jul 25th, 2019

Back pain is one of the most common pain conditions in the world, but that doesn’t mean it is always easy to treat. In fact, because your spine is home to so many different muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves, treating back pain can oftentimes be downright difficult. So what should...

5 Daily Habits To Improve Brain Function Jul 18th, 2019

We all hope that our brains stay sharp as we age, but what many people don’t understand is that we actually play a significant role in shaping the future of our brain health. There’s no perfect science for ensuring you have great cognitive function long into your wonder years, but...

Understanding Multi-Level Spinal Fusion Jul 11th, 2019

A spinal fusion procedure can help patients find relief from a number of different back-related ailments. The goal of the procedure is to fuse two vertebrae together to stabilize the spine location and avoid shifting or segment mobility. In some cases, the spinal condition is more severe, and a more in-depth fusion...

The Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options For Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks Jul 2nd, 2019

A cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak is a medical condition categorized by a tear or opening in the membranes that surround the brain or spinal cord, which allows the clear fluid that surrounds these body parts to escape. Leaks can develop for a number of different reasons, some of which are...

5 Tips For Preventing Head Injuries This Summer Jun 27th, 2019

Summer is in full swing, and that means more time playing outside and having fun. It also means that head injuries are more likely as we spend more time at the lake, riding our bikes or driving across the country. Head injuries and TBIs are not completely preventable, but there...

This One Factor Can Double Your Risk During Neurosurgery Jun 20th, 2019

Neurosurgery is one of the most complex types of surgical fields, and it makes sense considering the intricacies of the spine and brain. With that said, it’s also one of the safest in terms of preventing surgical site infections. Since the development of an infection in the spine or brain...

The Benefits Of Artificial Disc Replacement Jun 13th, 2019

Like many bodily structures, your spinal discs are prone to degeneration over the years. Repetitive stress and physical trauma all serve to wear down these tough spinal discs, and if enough degeneration occurs, it can cause the discs or vertebrae to shift and compress some key structures. Physical therapy and...

Should You Get A Second Opinion Before Spine Or Brain Surgery? Jun 6th, 2019

No matter whether you’re having an intricate brain surgery or a minor cosmetic operation, you want to know that you’re making the best choice for your health. Many times that assurance can be found by seeking out a second opinion. We’ve provided patients with our fair share of second opinions...

Summer TBI Prevention Begins With A Helmet May 31st, 2019

Summer is here, and the warm weather means more people are out on their motorcycles, ATVs and bicycles. These recreational vehicles and toys can be a more enjoyable way to get from one place to another, but they also offer less natural protection for the rider. With no seat belt...

How Your Diet Can Affect Your Brain Health May 23rd, 2019

Everyone wants to stay mentally fit as they age, but what’s the best way to do that? Is it by challenging yourself with the New York Times’ crossword puzzle on a daily basis, or by getting regular exercise? While mental stimulation and physical activity are both great ways of staying...

How Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates Can Help Your Spine May 15th, 2019

When it comes to back pain, there’s no magic pill that can erase our pain and strengthen our spines. We’re told that exercise is often the best course of treatment, but swimming laps or lifting weights isn’t always fun, and that can make it hard to regularly partake in these...

How To Safely Manage A Concussion May 9th, 2019

Millions of Americans will suffer a concussion this year, and unlike a cut or a broken bone, a lot of people aren’t as familiar with how to best manage mild or serious head injuries. Concussion management can be difficult because there’s no wound to visualize, so it’s important to listen...

What To Expect During A Spine Surgery Consultation May 2nd, 2019

For the vast majority of our patients, hands-on conservative care can help them put their spine pain in the past, but for some, the only answer to their discomfort is a surgical operation. If you’ve been told that you need surgery, you probably are wondering about the next steps in...

7 Questions To Ask Your Neurosurgeon Before Surgery Apr 25th, 2019

Every surgery carries with it risks and potential complications, but the stakes are even higher when you’re dealing with a neurological surgery. Now, neurosurgeons are some of the best and brightest surgeons in the game, and techniques are only getting safer as we get a better understanding of how to...

Tiger Woods’ Masters Victory Possible Because Of Spine Surgery Apr 18th, 2019

If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you’re probably familiar with some of the posts we’ve written on Tiger Woods and his ailing back. We wrote about his fourth spine surgery in which he underwent an anterior lumbar interbody fusion two years ago, and we blogged about his Tour Championship win back...

Scientists Diagnose CTE Markers In Living Patients Apr 11th, 2019

According to a team of researchers in Boston and Arizona, we may now be able to detect abnormal markers related to the brain condition chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in living adults. CTE is a unique condition in that it can only be diagnosed during an autopsy, so while we believe...

Preventing Everyday Causes Of Back Pain Apr 4th, 2019

Back pain is one of the most common conditions that people deal with on a regular basis, but it doesn’t always come about as a result of an acute injury. In fact, most causes of back pain are much less obvious, and we may be putting our spines in jeopardy...

Neurosurgeon Performs Brain Surgery On Patient 1,800 Miles Away Mar 21st, 2019

A surgeon in China performed the first remote brain surgery over a 5G network on a patient located more than 1,800 miles away. Dr. Ling Zhipei, chief physician of the First Medical Center at China’s PLA General Hospital, performed the operation over the weekend using the 5G technology. The patient was suffering...

The Most Common Sports For Head Injuries Mar 14th, 2019

Sports are a pastime for many kids and teens growing up, but athletic activity is also one of the most common ways that kids suffer injuries. Bumps and bruises are common during sports, but more severe injuries also occur despite our best efforts at prevention. Medical data shows that nearly...

Preventing Spinal Disc Height Loss Mar 7th, 2019

Your spinal discs help to facilitate movement while acting as shock absorbers for your spine. However, over time this repeated stress can gradually wear down our spinal discs, leading to painful movement, nerve compression and other spinal issues. Some disc loss is inevitable over time due to the aging process,...

How To Explain Your Back Pain To Your Doctor Feb 28th, 2019

Your spine is home to a variety of tissues, tendons, ligaments and vertebrae, so pinpointing exactly what’s going on in your back when pain develops can be difficult. Spinal imaging tests can help identify some conditions, but before it reaches that stage, your doctor will try to get a good...

The Causes, Symptoms and Treatments For Hydrocephalus Feb 22nd, 2019

Hydrocephalus is a medical condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) builds up within the ventricles of the brain, leading to increased pressure in the head. It’s a condition that more commonly affects newborns and infants, but it can also develop during childhood or in adults. Medical data suggest that...

4 Great Ways To Love Your Spine Feb 14th, 2019

Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re sharing the day with someone special or just treating yourself, take some time today and in the coming weeks to show some love to your spine. Your spine works day in and day out to provide support for your whole body and aid in movement,...

How To Safely Return To Sports After A Back Injury Feb 7th, 2019

Back injuries are one of the more common types of injuries that athletes suffer during athletic competition. Since your spine is such a complex structure, it can be difficult to determine exactly what’s wrong and how to best treat the problem. Getting a correct diagnosis and developing a safe treatment plan...

The Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Pain Jan 31st, 2019

Sleep deprivation and chronic pain are two problems that nobody wants to deal with, but unfortunately they often go hand in hand. These two problems are often related because they both feed off one another. For example, people who develop chronic back pain often lose the ability to achieve restful...

Treating Blood Clots in the Brain Jan 24th, 2019

If you’ve been told that you need to undergo an operation on a blood clot in your brain, you probably have a lot of questions about the procedure and your recovery. Although each surgery will have its own unique method, there are some general guidelines for how these clots are...

The Do’s and Don’ts of Life After Spine Surgery Jan 17th, 2019

Spine surgery is just the beginning of your process to get back to full health. After you’ve been discharged, the real work begins on your end. If you follow your rehab protocol and are smart about your recovery, you can have a great rehabilitation process and a strong spine when...

Treating The Most Common Type of Brain Tumor Jan 4th, 2019

Being diagnosed with a brain tumor may sound like a life-threatening diagnosis, but that’s not always the case. All brain tumors should be actively treated and regularly monitored by a neurosurgeon, but that doesn’t mean all brain tumors are cancerous or require surgery. In fact, the most common type of brain tumor...

Childhood TBI Linked To Depression and Joint Injuries Dec 28th, 2018

New research published in JAMA Pediatrics revealed that children who suffer traumatic brain injuries are at an increased risk for other neurologic and physiologic comorbities, like depression and bone and joint issues compared to children without a TBI. The study used data from the US National Survey of Children’s Health, and it...

Activities To Avoid While Recovering From Neck Surgery Dec 20th, 2018

If you’ve undergone surgery to address a slipped disc or a pinched nerve in your neck, you’re probably relieved that your days of pain and discomfort will soon be in the past. However, if you don’t follow through with your rehab or you perform some inadvisable actions during your recovery,...

Surviving The Holidays While Recovering From A Head Injury Dec 13th, 2018

The holidays season can be overwhelming for any person, but they can be especially stressful for someone who is recovering from a concussion or traumatic brain injury. With that said, if you plan ahead and make some adjustments to your schedule to help eliminate some of this stress, you can...

Winter Sport Safety Tips For Your Head and Neck Dec 6th, 2018

Winter is here, and that means it’s time to head back into the storage closet and dust off our skis and ice skates. Winter in Minnesota can be cold, but it can also provide us with the unique opportunity to participate in some cold weather sports. However, the hard ground...

Identifying Non-Traumatic Spinal Fractures Nov 29th, 2018

We recently had a reader reach out in the comment’s section of our blog titled “What Are Some Treatment Options For Spinal Fractures,” and they posed the following question. What are some of the key indicators that a spinal fracture has taken place? It seems that many of the people...

The Benefits of Rehab After A Spine Injury Nov 21st, 2018

Physical therapy and a rehabilitation program are essential after a number of injuries and surgeries, but a lot of people don’t understand why rehab is so important. Because they don’t really understand its purpose, many people stop rehabbing once their injury feels “good enough.” The problem is that rehab is...

NFL Awards $35 Million In Brain Injury Research Grants Nov 15th, 2018

The National Football League announced today that is has awarded more than $35 million in grants to fund medical research aimed at understanding and preventing brain injuries associated with the sport. Today’s grants are part of the $100 million initiative the league announced in 2016 called the “Play Safe. Play...

Symptoms and Treatment Options For Skull Fractures Nov 8th, 2018

An automobile accident is the most common cause of a skull fracture, but it certainly isn’t the only cause. Other accidental causes include falls from a height onto a hard surface, or acute head trauma during athletic activity, and then there are skull fractures that come about as a result...

Daylight Savings Time and Your Health Nov 2nd, 2018

Daylight savings time is this weekend, and while you may be looking forward to getting an extra hour of sleep, there are some drawbacks of the time shift. Your body is probably more affected by the time change than you imagine, and if you’re not careful, it can lead to...

How To Treat A Pinched Nerve in the Neck Oct 26th, 2018

A pinched nerve in the neck, oftentimes medically classified as cervical radiculopathy, is a somewhat common condition that can develop for a number of different reasons. The most common cause of cervical radiculopathy is as a result of arthritis or degenerative changes in our spine that leads to nerve compression. Caught...

5 Tips For Thriving After Spine Surgery Oct 18th, 2018

Spine surgery will help the vast majority of patients in the long-term, but in the first few days or weeks after an operation, you may feel physically limited and emotionally drained. This is normal, but that doesn’t make it any easier. That said, if you keep some tips in mind...

The Benefits and Risks Of Spinal Fusion Oct 11th, 2018

In the right situation, a spinal fusion operation can be very helpful for patients suffering from back pain or disc issues. However, like any surgery, the operation comes with some risks. Today, we take a closer look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of a spinal fusion operation to...

How To Treat A Bulging Disc In Your Back Oct 4th, 2018

Back problems plague about 10 percent of the population at any given time, and more than 90 percent of people will experience back issues at some point in their life. There are a number of different conditions that can develop with our spines, but one of the most common is...

Tiger Woods Returns From Spine Surgery To Win Tour Championship Sep 24th, 2018

Although it wasn’t a major tournament, Tiger Woods’ victory at the Tour Championship on Sunday may have been the most rewarding victory of his career. Woods carded an 11-under-par 269 over the course of four days to secure a two-stroke victory over a field containing the best players on tour....

When To See A Doctor For Your Back Pain Sep 20th, 2018

Back pain is one of the most common conditions that plagues people all across the globe, but because your spine is such an intricate system, the average person doesn’t have a deep knowledge of how to treat this pain other than to rest or take anti-inflammatory medications. Another thing people...

The Benefits Of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Sep 13th, 2018

If you’ve been dealing with spine pain that’s just not responding how you’d like to conservative care, you may be considering surgery. The thought of going under the knife can be intimidating, but medical technology continues to make surgery safer every day. Not only is surgery getting safer, but it’s...

CDC Issues New Guidelines For Managing Pediatric Head Injuries Sep 7th, 2018

Every head injury is different, so there’s no step-by-step treatment plan that we can use on every patient that shows up with a head injury. That said, analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at thousands of cases of mild pediatric head injuries to try and come...

Treating Pain In The Back Of Your Head Aug 30th, 2018

Headaches can come in many different forms, but today we’re going to focus on headaches and pain that develops seemingly in the back of your head. This discomfort can develop for a number of different reasons, and determining the underlying cause is the only way to treat the root problem....

Football and Brain Safety Aug 23rd, 2018

High school football practices are underway, the Vikings are in the midst of their preseason schedule and the Gophers kick off their season a week from today. It’s clear that football is back, and while we hope that everyone has an injury-free season, we know that’s not going to be...

Minnesota Could Lead The Way For Spinal Cord Repair Aug 16th, 2018

As technology continues to improve, we’re able to correct more complex problems and help improve quality of life in patients like never before. One area that has seen huge strides and could continue to is how we help patients with severe spinal cord injuries. Spinal nerve damage can have devastating consequences, but...

Diagnosing and Treating Lower Back Pain Aug 9th, 2018

The lower portion of your back, also known as the lumbar portion of your spine, is one of the most commonly injured parts of your body, and for good reason. Aside from being tasked with providing support and stability to your spine, your lower back is also home to a...

How Obesity Can Affect Your Life After A TBI Aug 3rd, 2018

If you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury, it can be difficult to try to get back to “normal” life. Seeing a neurosurgeon, sticking to your rehab plan and taking it day by day can all help the process along, but other factors work against your...

Blood Test Could Replace CT Scan For TBI Diagnosis Jul 25th, 2018

Head injuries are individualized and complex, which is why they can be so difficult to diagnose. Previously, neurosurgeons have relied on physical exams and imaging tests like CT scans to help diagnose traumatic brain injuries, but a new identification technique has arrived. Instead, of imaging the brain, medical experts say...

Treating Torticollis Of The Neck Jul 19th, 2018

Torticollis, sometimes described as wry neck, is a condition involving a twisted or tilted neck. This often results in a visible head tilt to one side while the chin tilts to the other side. The condition can be present at birth, or it can be acquired over time. Below, we...

Which Sports Have The Most Head Injuries? Jul 13th, 2018

Summer is in full swing, and that means kids and adults alike are participating in their favorite competitive and recreational sporting activities. These sports can be fun, but they can also put our bodies, and maybe more importantly, our heads at risk of an injury. But which sports result in...

Concussions – Fact Or Fiction Jul 6th, 2018

When it comes to concussions and the management of these injuries, there seems to be a lot of misinformation flying around. This can be very detrimental to our health, because concussions are serious injuries that need certain treatments to ensure the individual has the best chance to make a full...

Osteoporosis and Spinal Fractures Jun 28th, 2018

Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the density of your bones, which can leave them susceptible to fracture. When the condition affects the vertebrae in your spine, it can lead to what’s known as vertebral compression fractures. These injuries are not only painful, but they can jeopardize the integrity of...

How To Treat Facial Twitching Jun 14th, 2018

Facial twitching, medically known as a hemifacial spasm, is categorized by an involuntary twitching or contraction of the facial muscles on one side of a person’s face. Your facial muscles are controlled by the facial nerve, which begins at the brainstem and exits the skull below the ear. It is...

3 Causes Of Spinal Swelling Jun 7th, 2018

Spinal swelling isn’t all that common, but if you haven’t suffered an acute trauma and you notice some swelling on your back, it’s a sign that there’s something going on that requires medical attention. Treating the swelling requires a specific diagnosis so that you can correctly treat the underlying cause,...

The Different Types of Brain Injuries May 31st, 2018

Each brain injury is unique to the patient, but there are similarities between patients depending on the trauma inflicted on your head. Different symptoms can develop depending on the nature in which your head absorbed trauma, and understanding the way in which brains can be injured helps us chart a...

4 Summer Spine Hazards May 24th, 2018

Summer is a wonderful time of year, but it can also present unique challenges for your spine. We tend to be more active or take long road trips in the summer, and those are just a few of the ways our spines can get out of sync. Below, we take...

Summer Traumatic Brain Injury Prevention Tips May 17th, 2018

Summer is right around the corner, and that usually means more time spent outside partaking in recreational activities. With that said, summer also presents some unique challenges for our health and safety. Traumatic brain injuries can spike during the summer, so you have to take some extra precautions. Below, we...

Tips For Recovering After Artificial Disc Replacement May 10th, 2018

A minimally invasive disc replacement surgery can help alleviate your pain and give you back some of your independence after surgery, but you have to make sure you follow your doctor’s recovery suggestions in order to get the most out of rehab. So what should you expect, and how can you make...

5 Types Of Headaches And How To Treat Them May 3rd, 2018

At some point or another in our life, we’ve all experienced a headache. Sometimes all you need is a good night’s rest to get rid of the headache, while others can leave you searching for answers. There are a number of different types of headaches, with varying causes and treatments....

Life After Brain Surgery Apr 26th, 2018

If you’ve been diagnosed with a benign brain tumor, surgery to remove the mass is only part of the recovery equation. After you’ve been discharged, the real work begins. Today, we take a closer look at what you can expect life to be like in the days and weeks after brain...

Treating Hydrocephalus Of The Brain Apr 19th, 2018

Hydrocephalus is a condition that develops when fluid builds up in the skull, causing the brain to swell. If unaddressed, the pressure can lead to brain damage. This can lead to developmental, physical and intellectual impairments. Below, we take a closer look at the causes, symptoms and treatment options for hydrocephalus....

4 Tips For Preventing Spine Pain During Spring Cleaning Apr 12th, 2018

Spring is here, even if it doesn’t always feel like it in the Twin Cities. Soon we’ll be going for outdoor runs, planting gardens and doing some good old fashioned spring cleaning. However, if you’re not careful, spring cleaning can take a heavy toll on your spine. Below, we share...

Signs Of A Spinal Contusion Apr 6th, 2018

Your spinal cord is responsible for relaying messages from the brain to the rest of your body and back, so it’s easy to see how even a small disturbance can be problematic. If your spinal cord takes a direct hit, trauma can lead to what’s known as a spinal cord...

How To Have a Successful First Visit With Your Neurosurgeon Mar 29th, 2018

If you’ve been told that you should seek out a specialist for your spine or neurological condition, you’re probably a little confused and maybe even a bit worried about the process. Although finding a specialist in your area may seem daunting, they are some of the brightest minds in the...

The Link Between Childhood TBIs and ADHD Mar 22nd, 2018

As if there weren’t enough reasons to ensure your child gets the best treatment after a traumatic brain injury, new research suggests there may be a link between childhood TBIs and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Researchers also note that symptoms of ADHD may not appears for up to a decade...

From Hospital To Home After Spine Surgery Mar 14th, 2018

Your quest to end your spine pain doesn’t end once the surgeon closes up the final stitch, in fact, your journey is still in its infancy. In order to have a great recovery after spine surgery and get past your pain, you have to have a plan in place for...

Know The Signs Of Traumatic Brain Injury Mar 8th, 2018

Whether you’re a parent, coach or just someone who wants to take better care of your health, it’s worthwhile to know the signs that suggest someone is dealing with a traumatic brain injury. Considering March is National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month, we thought it would be fitting to help share...

Aqua Therapy and Your Spine Mar 2nd, 2018

If you are dealing with back pain or discomfort, the vast majority of the time your spine specialist will suggest a combination of conservative care options to try and treat the problem without the need for surgery. Exercise or physical therapy is almost always included in a conservative care plan,...

5 Signs Your Spine Is Misaligned Feb 22nd, 2018

Our spines can get out of alignment for a number of different reasons. Some of these causes of misalignment are obvious, like when they occur as a result of an acute injury. However, some other causes are much more minute, and you might not even realize your spine is misaligned....

Dementia Risk Tied To Traumatic Brain Injury Feb 9th, 2018

A new study out of Sweden found found that traumatic brain injuries or concussions can increase a person’s risk of developing dementia, even 30 years after the injury. This isn’t the first study to examine the connection between head injuries and dementia risk, but it is the first to find that...

How To Talk To Your Doctor About Your Back Pain Jan 31st, 2018

If you are considering seeking professional assistance in managing your back pain, you’re taking the first step in helping your body find relief. However, it’s not always easy to explain to the doctor exactly what’s going on with your pain. This can be problematic, because if you can’t accurately describe...

What To Do About Sleep Problems After A TBI Jan 25th, 2018

Traumatic brain injuries aren’t just a problem during the waking hours, they can also make it difficult to fall asleep and get undisturbed sleep. Why do traumatic brain injuries affect our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, and what can you do about it? We share some tips for...

Nonsurgical Treatment Options For Lumbar Herniated Discs Jan 18th, 2018

Herniated discs can range from mildly annoying to majorly debilitating, and the sooner you treat the problem, the better your outcomes tend to be. Surgery can fix some herniated discs, but a lot of times the condition won’t progress that far because they tend to respond well to conservative care....

5 Ways Teens Can Protect Their Back During Athletics Jan 11th, 2018

Millions of teens across the US participate in high school athletics or club and recreational sports. Not only are these teens getting stronger and moving faster – both of which increase the likelihood of injury – but their bodies are still growing at this point, so any injuries can have...

Dealing With Traumatic Brain Injuries In Sports Jan 5th, 2018

About one in five traumatic brain injuries are caused by sports or athletic activity, and if you play long enough, odds are you’ll suffer a head injury of your own. Caring for these head injuries can be difficult, because no two TBIs are the same. Today, we take a closer...

Brain Injuries May Be Linked To Intestinal Damage Dec 29th, 2017

It comes as no surprise that a brain injury can have major effects on other areas of your body, but new research suggests that traumatic brain injuries may be linked to intestinal damage. Researchers say brain trauma can lead to changes in the intestinal system, which may leave a person at a...

5 Ways To Protect Your Spine This Christmas Dec 22nd, 2017

Christmas is right around the corner, and the holiday season can be a tough on your spine. That being said, if you know what activities can stress your spine, you can do some things to help keep your back injury free this season. Today, we take a look at five...

Tips For Protecting Your Spine In The Workplace Dec 14th, 2017

If you’re like most people, your job pus a large amount of stress on your back, even if you are confined to a desk job. Manual labor jobs can be even worse on your spine, which is why it’s so important to protect your spine when you’re on the job....

Understanding and Treating Myelomalacia Of The Spine Dec 7th, 2017

Myelomalacia of the spine is a medical condition that occurs when the spinal cord begins to soften. This softening can lead to a loss of spinal cord volume, which can cause problems throughout your body. Today, we take a closer look at why the condition develops, what problems are associated...

5 Ways To Prevent Against Winter TBIs In Minnesota Nov 30th, 2017

The holiday season is in full swing, and snow and ice will soon blanket Minnesota. The winter season brings with it many fun activities in Minnesota, but it also present some unique dangers. One such danger is the increased risk of traumatic brain injuries from certain activities. Today, we take a closer...

Thanksgiving Survival Tips For Your Spine Nov 22nd, 2017

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and hopefully your holiday weekend is full of family, food and fun. That being said, Thanksgiving can also be a tough time on your spine (and your waistline if you’re not careful). Today, we share some tips for helping your spine make it through the Thanksgiving holiday...

How Brain Injuries Can Lead To Chronic Pain Nov 17th, 2017

Traumatic brain injuries can cause neurological issues like dizziness, confusion and memory loss, but new research into the inner-workings of TBIs revealed that they can also lead to the onset of chronic pain. According to statistics, roughly 1.5 million Americans experience a traumatic brain injury each year. While more than three-quarters...

5 Tips To Prepare For Your Spine Surgery Nov 10th, 2017

If you’re like most people, you want to do everything in your power to ensure your surgical operation goes as smoothly as possible. People want their surgery to go perfectly, but sometimes they incorrectly assume that the doctor holds all the power. An experienced surgeon is crucial to the success...

Types Of Spinal Tumor Removal Operations Nov 3rd, 2017

Tumors of the spine can be very problematic. If they are cancerous, they could spread to other parts of the body, and if they grow to large, they could compromise the integrity of the spine. Because of this, spinal tumors are often treated with a surgical procedure, but there are...

Why Won’t My Back Injury Get Better? Oct 27th, 2017

Injuries to the spine aren’t that uncommon, and oftentimes minor back injuries will heal on their own with rest and a conservative care plan. However, sometimes spine pain can linger, and it may leave you wondering why your back pain won’t just go away. Today, we explain some common reasons...

The Different Types Of Spinal Fusion Operations Oct 19th, 2017

Spinal fusion is a surgical operation performed in order to stop movement at a painful vertebral segment. The operation leads to decreased range of motion and flexibility in the area, but it also decreases pain, so many patients feel that the trade off is worth it. In fact, there are...

Treating Transverse Process Fractures Oct 13th, 2017

If you follow the National Football League, there’s a chance that you’ve heard the term transverse process fracture used recently. Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr suffered a transverse process fracture less than two weeks ago against the Denver Broncos, and Tony Romo suffered the same injury back when he was still playing....

5 Warning Signs Of A Stroke Oct 6th, 2017

A stoke is a medical event that is categorized by a loss of blood supply to the brain. They can occur due to loss of blood flow to the brain, or because bleeding has developed in the brain. The likelihood of suffering a stroke increases as we get older and...

1 in 5 Teens Has Suffered A Concussion Sep 27th, 2017

Concussions and traumatic brain injuries have come under the national spotlight in recent years, and for good reason. We’re learning more about how concussions and head trauma affect our brain not just in the short term, but for the rest of our lives. More importantly, we’re learning how concussions during our youth...

New iPhone 8 Has Brain-Like Qualities Sep 21st, 2017

As a neurosurgeon, the complexity and intricacies of the human brain fascinate me, Recently, I stumbled upon an article published on SmithsonianMag.com that examined how the brain identifies human faces instantly. For example, think about the last time you scrolled down your Facebook or Instagram feed. Odds are you can identify the...

Preventing Secondary Tumors In The Brain Sep 15th, 2017

Tumors can form in any area of the body for a variety of reasons. Interestingly, the most common reason why a tumor develops in the brain is because cancer in another area of the body has spread to your brain. Cancer that develops in one area of the body and...

What To Expect From A Frontal Lobe Brain Injury Aug 31st, 2017

Traumatic brain injuries affect people in different ways, but injuries to certain areas of the brain can express some similar characteristics and symptoms. In this blog, we’re going to take a closer look at what happens if you suffer a head injury to your frontal lobe, and how these types of...

The Causes, Symptoms and Treatments For Spinal Cord Compression Aug 25th, 2017

As the name implies, spinal cord compression is a condition that develops when a structure is putting abnormal force on the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a connection of nerves that sends signals to your brain, and if it becomes compressed, these nerves can send pain signals or inhibit normal movement....

5 Tips For Preventing Spine Pain Caused By Backpacks Aug 18th, 2017

Some people enjoy back to school shopping, while others hate it, but for the most part it doesn’t really matter which colored pencils your kid gets or if they go with with the 24- or 48-pack of markers. However, there is one item you should pay a little more attention...

5 Ways To Ensure Your Spine Surgery Rehab Is A Success Aug 11th, 2017

Spine surgery is a step towards a reduction in back pain, but it’s not the end of the line. To truly put back pain issues in the past, you need to commit to a thorough rehabilitation plan. However, sticking to that plan is often easier said than done. Today, we are...

The Signs and Symptoms Of A Stroke Aug 4th, 2017

Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, so while they are clearly a very serious condition, statistics suggest that up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable. So how can you prevent a stroke, what are the signs of a stroke, and how are they...

5 Treatment Options For Spinal Nerve Pain Jul 28th, 2017

Nerves help to regulate movement and send signals to your brain, but if they become damaged or compressed, they can cause a lot of pain. Some nerve damage is irreversible, while others can be treated with a variety of techniques. Today, we take a look at five common treatment techniques...

Understanding Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery Jul 20th, 2017

The vast majority of people will experience spine pain at some point in their life, but most can treat their back pain with conservative measures like rest, exercise and physical therapy. However, a small amount will suffer from disc issues that require surgery. Sometimes these disc problems can be resolved...

Can We Reverse The Effects Of Traumatic Brain Injuries? Jul 13th, 2017

New research out of the University of California San Francisco suggests that we may soon be able to reverse some of the adverse side effects of traumatic brain injuries. For their study, researchers analyzed spatial memory in mice who were subjected to traumatic brain injuries. To do this, researchers anesthesized a...

5 Things To Do When Back Pain Just Won’t Go Away Jul 6th, 2017

Back pain rarely goes away for good without the injured party taking at least one step to resolve it, but for some, no matter what they try their back pain simply seems to linger. However, if you buckle down and make a concentrated effort to treat your back pain, we’re...

Understanding Multi-Level Degenerative Disc Disease Jun 22nd, 2017

Degenerative disc disease is a condition that is categorized by a gradual deterioration and thinning of the shock-absorbing intervertebral discs in your spine. In some cases, disc generation is contained to one overstressed disc, but more often, disc degeneration occurs at multiple levels throughout the spine. When this happens, it’s...

Types Of Spinal Compression Fractures And How They Are Treated Jun 16th, 2017

Spinal compression fractures occur when a vertebra breaks due to excessive compression or pressure on the bone. Since pressure can be applied in so many different areas and in a variety of ways in our spine, there are a number of different ways in which a compression fracture can occur....

The Link Between Childhood TBIs and Anxiety Disorders Jun 8th, 2017

New research out of Australia suggests that children who suffer a traumatic brain injury during childhood are more likely to develop psychological disorders like anxiety, depression and certain phobias. “The study suggests that brain injury is in some way related to longer-term anxiety symptoms, while previously it was thought that brain injury...

Pediatric Spinal Fusion – What You Should Know Jun 2nd, 2017

Spinal fusion surgery is an operation that involves the fusion of two spinal vertebrae together. The operation can be performed to treat a number of different conditions, like degenerative disc disease or herniated discs. These two conditions generally affect older populations because they are typically caused by microtrauma on the spine...

Diagnosing and Treating Back Injuries In Children May 25th, 2017

Children are always going to be active, and with activity comes injury. Spine injuries during adolescence can be even more problematic than in adulthood because our vertebrae and spinal structures are still developing and growing. Today, we’re going to look at some of the common causes of back injuries in...

Running Can Improve Your Spine Health May 17th, 2017

As we’ve talked about on the blog before, excess weight can lead to extra stress on your spine. Over time, this can lead to problems like degenerative disc disease or herniated discs. Getting to a more manageable weight can help take some stress off your spine, but new findings suggest we might...

Herniated Disc Surgery Isn’t Just For The Young May 10th, 2017

More than 90 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their life, and for many, that pain becomes chronic because they don’t take active steps to control the problem. As we get older, our discs naturally wear down and they become more predisposed to shifting from...

Returning To Work After Back Surgery May 4th, 2017

Nobody likes to miss time from work because of an injury, and return-to-work dates are oftentimes some of the first questions we receive when talking with a patient about surgery. It’s completely reasonable that you want to get back to work and continue making money for your family, but you...

What Happens During A Traumatic Brain Injury? Apr 27th, 2017

We’ve talked about traumatic brain injuries on the blog in the past, as these types of injuries are often serious and require medical intervention. But what exactly happens in your head when trauma occurs in the region? Today, we take a closer look at the forces at play during a...

Tigers Woods Undergoes Fourth Spine Surgery Apr 21st, 2017

Tiger Woods underwent a back fusion operation earlier this week in hopes of alleviating the consistent back pain that has kept him from remaining competitive on the professional golf circuit. “The surgery went well, and I’m optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain,” said the 14-time major winner....

Subdural Hematomas – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments Apr 14th, 2017

A subdural hematoma is a condition where blood collects outside the brain. This pooling of blood is typically caused by severe head trauma, and left untreated, the building pressure can compress the brain and have life-threating effects. Today, we take a closer look at why subdural hematomas develop, the symptoms...

When Spinal Fusion Should (And Shouldn’t) Be Considered Apr 7th, 2017

A spinal fusion operation involves the fusing together of two vertebrae in the spine that are causing pain or out of place. Through this process, the two vertebrae become one solid piece of bone. This can be a helpful operation because it limits movement in painful areas but also helps...

Gamma Knife May Soon Revolutionize Neurosurgery Mar 31st, 2017

We always like to keep our ear to the ground when it comes to learning about the newest advancements in the world of neurosurgery. Not too long ago we shared the story of the smart biopsy needle that is making it easier for neurosurgeons to take care of difficult brain tumors, and...

Big Breakthrough In Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Mar 23rd, 2017

Tumors that develop in the brain are oftentimes the most difficult to treat because the brain is such a complex and delicate organ. Successful treatment of a brain tumor relies on a number of different factors, including the size, location, the health of the patient and whether or not the tumor is...

The Keys To A Speedy Spine Surgery Recovery Mar 16th, 2017

Spine surgery is very taxing on your body, so it’s going to take a little bit to get back to full health after your operation. However, a good spine surgeon will always discuss with their patients some ways to expedite the recovery process. Although you should always consult with your...

5 Qualities To Look For In A Neurosurgeon Mar 9th, 2017

If you’re dealing with a serious spine or brain issue, you’re going to want to find a great specialist you can take care of your problem. That’s easier said than done, though, because most people don’t know where to turn when it comes to finding the right neurosurgeon for you...

March Is Brain Injury Awareness Month Mar 3rd, 2017

March is here, and that means it is officially National Brain Injury Awareness Month. In an effort to help spread the word about traumatic brain injuries and how we can prevent them, we compiled some facts and figures in today’s blog. We hope you enjoy, and please help spread the word! Traumatic...

What Are Some Treatments For Spinal Fractures? Feb 23rd, 2017

Spinal fractures occur when a vertebrae becomes overloaded with stress. Oftentimes this occurs during moments of direct trauma, like in a car accident or while playing sports. That being said, spinal fractures can occur during much more mundane activities, especially as we get older and our bones get weaker. Actions...

The Effects Of Traumatic Brain Injuries In Children Feb 17th, 2017

The effects of a traumatic brain injury can be devastating, but they can be even more problematic when the occur in children whose brains are still developing as they grow. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 250,000 children and adolescents aged 19 and under suffer a TBI each...

What Is Failed Back Surgery Syndrome? Feb 9th, 2017

Failed back surgery syndrome, as the name implies, describes the outcome of a spinal surgery operation that does not go as the patient and provider had hoped. It’s more of a term than an actual syndrome, but a failed spinal operation generally gets the classification “FBSS.” Today, we take a...

Tiger Woods Withdraws From Dubai Open With Back Spasms Feb 3rd, 2017

After Tiger Woods struggled to an opening round 77, fans were wondering if he could make a charge on Friday to make the cut. However, they didn’t get the chance to see Woods golf, as the 41-year-old professional withdrew from competition, citing back spasms. Woods is familiar with back issues,...

Smart Needle Could Revolutionize Neurosurgery Jan 26th, 2017

One of the reasons we’ve been able to preform more minimally invasive operations on spines, nerves and tumors is because medical science has been able to develop tiny cameras to allow surgeons to view inside a person’s body without creating a large opening to access the surgical site. It’s relatively...

How Heat Could Play A Big Role In Treating Tumors Jan 20th, 2017

Medical researchers say that heat has shown promise as a new way to help treat malignant tumors. The new research, published in the journal Theranostics, took a look at the process of nanohyperthermia as a potential cancer treatment. According to the research, nanohyperthermia works to make a tumor more receptive to...

15 Ways To Stay Entertained After Spine Surgery Jan 12th, 2017

An underrated aspect to your recovery after spine surgery is your ability to stay in a positive mindset. However, that is easier said than done, especially if you aren’t able to walk or return to work while your spine recovers from the operation. That being said, one way to pass the time...

How To Prepare For Your Consultation With A Neurosurgeon Jan 6th, 2017

Whether you’re having frequent headaches or shooting pain in your spine, the prospect of setting up a consultation with a neurosurgeon can provide a person with both relief and anxiety. You’ll probably find some relief in knowing that the specialist will be able to help you understand what’s causing your...

Treatment Options For Cervical Herniated Discs Dec 29th, 2016

Herniated discs can occur at any location in your spine. Most times the herniated disc is housed in the lumbar portion of a person’s spine, but some develop at the other end of the spine in the cervical portion of your neck. Today, we take a closer look at the...

The Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Of Spinal Stenosis Dec 23rd, 2016

Spinal stenosis is a troublesome condition that generally affects the spines of older adults. The reason it tends to occur in adults in midlife is because it is brought upon by a narrowing of your spinal canal, which happens after decades of stress. Today, we’re going to take a look...

4 Tips For Preventing Head Injuries During The Winter Dec 16th, 2016

The winter season in Minnesota is rather unique. Each year the snow and the cold weather brings with it some picturesque beauty and the chance to play some winter sports, but it also presents some hazards. Non-sports related head injuries tend to peak during the winter months – just another...

How To Reduce Stress Levels Before Brain Surgery Dec 9th, 2016

The prospect of any type of surgery can leave you feeling anxious, but there are two areas of a person’s body where they really seem to get nervous when talking about an operation – their heart and their head. This may seem obvious, because your heart and brain are the two most...

Examining Rob Gronkowski’s Herniated Disc And Return Possibilities Dec 2nd, 2016

New England Patriots superstar Rob Gronkowski will undergo surgery today to address a herniated disc in his spine, and reports suggest that it may end his 2016 season. The team and Gronkowski’s family issued a statement ahead of today’s scheduled surgery, stating “We do not expect that he will be...

5 Ways To Reduce Traumatic Brain Injuries During Sports Nov 22nd, 2016

When someone suffers a traumatic brain injury, it generally occurs in one of three ways – from a car accident, from a fall or as the result of of athletic activity. Falls and car accidents are awfully hard to prevent, but there are some ways you can alleviate your concussion...

The Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options For Slipped Discs Nov 18th, 2016

A slipped disc in your spine can cause a whole host of problems, and it’s an issue that occurs more frequently in older and more active adults. A slipped disc, also referred to as a herniated disc, occurs when the soft inner portion of the disc pushes through the outer...

More Kids Are Experiencing Spine Pain Nov 10th, 2016

Evidence suggests that the prevalence of musculoskeletal spinal pain (MSP) in children and teenagers has increased significantly from years past. According to the data, musculoskeletal spinal pain, which includes lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine pain, has increased in recent years, affecting between 15 and 35 percent of children and adolescents....

Types And Treatment Options For Spinal Tumors Nov 4th, 2016

Your spine is comprised of a complex series of discs, vertebrae and nerves, meaning that the development of a spinal tumor is usually very unique in its location, what structures it affects and how treatment needs to proceed. Today, we take a look at the different types of spinal tumors, and we...

5 Ways Neurologists Keep Their Spines Healthy Oct 28th, 2016

Practicing what you preach is sometimes easier said than done, especially in the field of healthcare. Your nurse can tell you to give up smoking, but that message doesn’t have the same meaning if you see that same nurse smoking a cigarette as you leave the clinic. However, we try...

US Soccer Star Has Brain Tumor Successfully Removed Oct 21st, 2016

Two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion Lauren Holiday underwent successful surgery yesterday to remove a brain tumor. The soccer star has had an eventful last few months, as the brain tumor was discovered during a routine prenatal examine. Doctors conducted some tests on the tumor and discovered that although...

5 Spinal Conditions Brought On By Aging Oct 13th, 2016

One bodies slowly start to wear down as we get older, but some structures are more affected by the aging process than others. One area where that notion is true is your spine. Because of all the duties your spine performs on a daily basis and throughout your life, it’s...

High Costs Crippling Minnesota’s Insurance Marketplace Oct 4th, 2016

Minnesota’s insurance marketplace nearly collapsed last year due to high price hikes, and it appears that we haven’t learned from our past mistakes. Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced on Friday that health insurers will be able to raise their prices by at least 50 percent next year. For some, the...

5 Subtle Signs Of Brain Tumors Sep 23rd, 2016

Brain tumors are serious health problems that need to be addressed as quickly as possible to prevent more damage from being done. Unfortunately, brain tumors aren’t very easy to identify without the assistance of medical imaging devices. Instead, you have to look for some symptoms that suggest a tumor may be the...

Understanding Hemifacial Spasms Sep 16th, 2016

A hemifacial spasm is a medical condition categorized by an involuntary twitching or contraction of the facial muscles on one side of a person’s face. The condition comes in two different forms, known as typical and atypical hemifacial spasms. Today, we take a closer look at the two forms of hemifacial spasms,...

One Modification Could Greatly Reduce Head and Spine Injuries in Football Players Sep 9th, 2016

The NFL season is upon us, and before we are treated to a full slate of games on Sunday, we wanted to talk a little about head and spine injuries in football players. Football is no doubt a violent sport, so medical researchers and athletic trainers are always looking for...

5 Ways To Prevent Spine Injuries From Falls Sep 2nd, 2016

Falls are a leading cause of spine injury among older individuals, but younger populations aren’t immune from falls either. Whether it’s from losing your balance or missing a step while walking down the stairs, a fall injury can quickly take a serious toll on your spine. Today, we share five tips...

Re-engaging Injured Spinal Cord Nerves – The Future of Spinal Paralysis Care? Aug 26th, 2016

Exciting research suggests that weekly training with brain-machine interface (BMI) technology may be able to re-engage some previously injured spinal cord nerves that led to lower-limb paralysis. Even more fascinating is that the research has shown promise in patients who have been paralyzed for more than a decade. The innovative technology involves...

Traumatic Brain Injuries Linked to Parkinson’s Disease Aug 19th, 2016

New research out of UCLA suggests that individuals who suffer from a traumatic brain injury that results in a loss of consciousness may be at an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease later in life. More than 1.3 million Americans visit the emergency room every year as the result of a traumatic...

5 Common Spine Surgery Concerns – And Why They Aren’t A Big Deal Aug 12th, 2016

The prospect of spine surgery can seem daunting, and odds are you have a few questions or concerns. It’s perfectly normal to feel a little uneasy about your spine operation, but our job as surgeons is to help put your mind at ease. Today, we share five common concerns people...

Spine Pain and Our Body Clock Aug 5th, 2016

New research from across the pond suggests that our spinal discs are impacted by our circadian rhythm, and if our sleep schedule gets out of whack, back pain can flare up. More than 90 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives, be it from a...

Recovering After Spinal Fusion Surgery Jul 28th, 2016

You’ve undergone spinal fusion surgery, and now you’re curious about your recovery and rehab. The goal of rehab is to allow the fusion to stabilize and then to restore strength to the spinal column and your back. In an effort to explain how this process is achieved, today, we take...

Neuroimaging Could Help Assess Recovery Likelihood After TBI Jul 21st, 2016

Neuroimaging allows us to see inside the human brain, and researchers say the technique and a new understanding of certain biomarkers may help predict which patients have a better chance of recovery after a mild traumatic brain injury. The findings suggest that patients with abnormally high fractional anisotropy (FA), as viewed...

Concussion Management For Young Athletes is Improving Jul 14th, 2016

A new study out of the Medical College of Wisconsin suggests that collectively, we’re doing a better job of treating and managing concussions in high school athletes than we were just a few decades ago. The study in question examined whether today’s athletes achieved what’s called a symptom-free waiting period...

5 Brain Functions Impacted By Traumatic Brain Injuries Jul 7th, 2016

As the name implies, traumatic brain injuries are forceful and severe blows to the head that traumatize the brain. A brain injury is much more complex than injuries to other areas of the body because the brain is your central control system, and damage to the area can inhibit normal...

The Difference Between Bulging and Herniated Discs Jun 30th, 2016

People often throw out the terms “bulging disc” and “herniated disc” interchangeably, but it’s important to realize that these are actually two different types of conditions with varying types of treatments. Today, we explain what distinguishes a bulging disc from a herniated disc, and how the pair of ailments are...

Lingering Headaches After Traumatic Brain Injuries Jun 23rd, 2016

New research out of the University of Washington Medical Center suggests that many people who suffer traumatic brain injuries are plagued by headaches for years after the initial injury. The study revealed individuals who suffer a TBI have a high and persistent prevalence of headaches for at least five years...

Concussions in Children May Be Vastly Underreported Jun 17th, 2016

New research by a medical team at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia suggests that many parents may overlook the severity of their child’s head injury. Researchers came to this conclusion after conducting a study to see where children were treated for their head...

6 Often Overlooked Brain Tumor Symptoms Jun 10th, 2016

Brain tumors can only be revealed using imaging tests like an MRI or CT Scan, so doctors are usually tipped off to the presence of a tumor via symptom prevalence. That being said, not all brain tumor symptoms are alike, so doctors need to be versed in a wide range of warning...

Summer Weather and Spine Pain Jun 3rd, 2016

You’ve probably heard stories about how the cold weather can affect your joints, but the warm summer weather also leads to changes inside our bodies. One such area of your body that can be affected by hot weather is your spine. Today, we take a closer look at how the summer...

3 Tips For Preventing Teen Back Pain May 27th, 2016

We talk a lot about degenerative spinal conditions that occur after years of physical activity, but one group of people whose back pain often gets overlooked is teens and young adults. People assume that teens and young adults are in the healthiest shape of their lives, but oftentimes that’s not true. Your...

Concussions May Affect Eye Function May 20th, 2016

The negative side effects of concussions have been well-documented, but new research suggests that head trauma can cause lingering changes in the way our eyes focus. To get a better understanding of how concussive and sub-concussive head trauma affects a person’s vision, researchers examined a small sample of Division 1 football players....

Traumatic Brain Injuries On The Playground Are On The Rise May 13th, 2016

New research published in the Pediatrics Medical Journal suggests that an increasing amount of children are suffering traumatic brain injuries on the playground. In an effort to gauge the injury rates of children on playground equipment, researchers from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control examined reasons for hospital admissions for...

When Is Back Pain Actually a Medical Emergency? May 6th, 2016

Back pain is one of the most common ailments suffered by people of all ages. Whether it’s from a muscle strain, acute trauma, disc problems or nerve damage, back pain presents itself in many forms. Also, since back pain is such a common condition, many people try to cope with their injury...

For Concussions and TBIs, Sleep Problems Can Linger For 18 Months Apr 29th, 2016

It’s no surprise that the effects of a concussion can linger for a while in the wake of a traumatic brain injury, but new research in the New England Journal of Medicine shines a light on just how long symptoms can persist. The study involved 31 patients who had suffered a serious...

Spine Pain Care For Veterans in Minnesota Apr 22nd, 2016

Spine and musculoskeletal back pain is one of the leading causes of disability in America. In fact, the National Center for Health Statistics suggests that one in four adults suffers from chronic back pain, and roughly 90 percent of Americans will deal with problematic back pain at some point in...

Diagnosing, Evaluating and Treating Concussions in Football Apr 15th, 2016

New research out of the Florida State University College of Medicine suggests that more than 40 percent of retired professional football players showed signs of traumatic brain injury. Although the study was relatively small, it produced some concerning findings. For their study, researchers conducted MRI scans on 40 retired NFL players...

Is Your Cell Phone Causing Your Neck and Back Pain? Apr 8th, 2016

Smartphones and other media devices are changing the way we stay connected to the world. It’s almost impossible to find an adult who doesn’t have a cell phone, as they allow us to stay in touch with family, send work emails on the go and stay connected with the news...

Minnesota Has The Best Doctors in the Nation Apr 1st, 2016

A new study by the research site WalletHub suggests that Minnesota has some of the best doctors and surgeons in the United States. To determine which states have the best healthcare systems and doctors, researchers looked at 11 key metrics. A few of the metrics they examined included number of...

NFL Admits Link Between Sport and Brain Injury Mar 25th, 2016

The National Football League has long held the stance that there is no definitive link between the sport and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), but it appears they have changed their tune in the wake of new research. When asked if there was a link between football and neurodegenerative diseases like CTE, NFL...

3 Changing Trends in Spine Care Mar 17th, 2016

The spine is a complex structure, so it’s no surprise that the evaluation and treatment of your spinal structures is ever-changing. From new ways to diagnose to revolutionary new treatments, spine care is always evolving. Today, we’re going to look at three newer trends in how neurosurgeons are taking care of...

Preventing Hospital Acquired Infections Mar 7th, 2016

People go to the hospital to be treated for their injuries, but far too often they actually end up getting worse during their stay at the hospital. That’s because, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 25 people who enter a hospital acquire...

Preventing Common Spine Surgery Complications Mar 4th, 2016

Surgical procedures continue to improve each and every day. As surgeons, we’ve taken an oath to do everything in our power to protect our patients, but complications can arise for even the best surgeons. Surgery takes a major toll on the body, and the spine is an intricate and complex system, so it’s...

5 Tips For Choosing The Best Spine Surgeon For Your Operation Feb 26th, 2016

Although it’s difficult to truly quantify, research suggests that the average person make 35,000 decisions a day. The vast majority of these decisions are done without conscious thought, and many of them, like what you’ll have for dinner or what TV show you’ll watch, really don’t matter in the long...

The Quality of Healthcare in the United States Feb 19th, 2016

It has been observed for quite some time that the U.S. spends far more per capita on healthcare compared to other countries. Yet by many measures of healthcare, the U.S. lags behind many other developed nations. e.g. high rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, etc. What does it mean when you spend...

5 Treatment Options For Lumbar Spine Pain Feb 11th, 2016

Back pain can develop in any area of your spine, but the most common place is in the lumbar or lower region of your spine. This area often shoulders the most weight when you sit with poor posture or when you bend over to pick something up. Lumbar pain can...

Traumatic Brain Injury Linked to Increased Dementia Risk in Seniors Feb 4th, 2016

New research suggests that seniors who suffer a concussion or traumatic brain injury are at an increased risk to develop dementia or other mental difficulties later in life. Traumatic brain injuries can occur in a lot of different ways, from contact during athletic activity or in the wake of a car accident,...

Providing Care By Prescribing Less Jan 20th, 2016

A new study out of England suggests that patients who expect to be prescribed antibiotics are less satisfied with their care when they aren’t given antibiotics. The study shows some problematic associations, because sometimes the best medicine involves not over prescribing. As the study notes, antibiotics are generally ineffective against...

January is Winter Sports Traumatic Brain Injury Prevention Month Jan 14th, 2016

Unlike other parts of the country, many Minnesotans actually look forward to the winter months because of all the opportunities for activities the cold weather brings. The Land of 10,000 Lakes becomes the Land of 10,000 outdoor ice rinks, and skiers and snowmobiles rejoice at the fresh powder on the...

What To Expect From Your Spine Surgery Jan 7th, 2016

The prospect of having your spine operated on can be scary, but advances in medical technology and great work from thoroughly trained surgeons have helped minimize risk and increase surgery success. That said, even if you’re in the hands of a great surgical team, you still may feel uneasy about...

How is Brain Swelling Treated? Dec 31st, 2015

If you get a bump on your knee or your arm, the injury site might swell up a little. The same can be said for a head injury, but swelling in the brain can have serious consequences. Today, we take a closer look at what happens when there’s swelling in...

Neurosurgery and the July Effect Dec 23rd, 2015

Mistakes are a part of life, but nobody wants a mistake to happen in the operating room. Unfortunately, despite everyone’s best efforts, slip ups still occur during surgery. Experienced surgeons know what to look for and how to manage their team to best prevent surgical errors, but experienced surgeons also...

The Benefits Of Physical Therapy For Back Pain Dec 18th, 2015

A lot of patients visit my practice because they are dealing with debilitating back pain. Be it from an acute injury or spinal degeneration over the decades, back pain is a complex problem that isn’t always easy to solve. Unlike a broken arm that heals with rest and casting, back...

Bone Spurs in Your Spine – Causes and Treatment Dec 11th, 2015

Similar to disc degeneration, bone spurs (osteophytes) are another painful back condition that can set in as we age. In fact, the two conditions are very similar, as bone spurs generally indicate that a patient is experiencing spinal degeneration. Today, we take a closer look and why bone spurs form...

The Benefits of Spinal Fusion Surgery Dec 3rd, 2015

Minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery can help a wide variety of patients. If the pain in your back is due to a degenerative disc, a spinal fracture or a herniated spinal disc, minimally invasive spine surgery can help combat your pain. As the name implies, minimally invasive spine surgery only requires a...

4 Tips For Preventing Spine Pain Over The Thanksgiving Holiday Nov 25th, 2015

Thanksgiving is only a day away, and if you’re like most Americans, odds are you will be doing some traveling in the next few days. The Thanksgiving holiday provides us time to reconnect with friends and family, but the extra travel and time on your feet can lead to problems...

Traumatic Brain Injuries in Children Nov 12th, 2015

Traumatic brain injuries are one of the leading causes of death and disability in infants and children. Whether they trip going down the stairs, fall off their bike or collide with an opponent during a soccer game, your child’s head is vulnerable to injury. Today, we’re going to take a...

Surgical Options For Pinched Nerves Nov 4th, 2015

A pinched nerve is a painful condition that occurs when a nerve in your back become compressed by some nearby structure. Oftentimes this impingement is caused by compression from bone or disc material in the spine. See, the nerves in your spine operate similar to the hose in your backyard. When...

Treatment For Spinal Tumors Oct 29th, 2015

Spinal tumors are abnormal growths located in either your spinal canal or within the bones of your spine. They can negatively affected the growth of your spine, cause regionalized pain and threaten the health of other body parts in the area. Here’s a closer look at spine tumor development and...

Is a Brain Tumor Causing Your Frequent Headaches? Oct 21st, 2015

A headache is one of the more common symptoms associated with the formation of a brain tumor. In fact, about 50 percent of people who develop a brain tumor deal with headaches on a regular basis. Obviously not every headache is caused by a tumor, but if you’re experiencing frequent...

What is Degenerative Disc Disease? Oct 14th, 2015

Despite the name, degenerative disc disease is not actually a progressive disease in the spine. It simply describes the process of natural disc degeneration as we age. Almost everybody will experience some disc degeneration as they get older, but only those with pain, weakness or numbness are diagnosed with degenerative disc...

The Link Between Back Pain and Obesity Oct 7th, 2015

Obesity has been linked to numerous health problems, from heart disease and high blood pressure to diabetes and some forms of cancers. But there’s another condition that can be caused by obesity that often gets overlooked, and that’s pain. More specifically, back pain. Today, we take a closer look at...

Why Excessive Sitting Is Killing Your Back Sep 30th, 2015

Back pain is one of the leading causes of injury, and research suggests that 90 percent of people are going to experience back pain at some point in their lives. Oftentimes people tweak their back during athletic activity or exercise, but a lot of us are actually doing more damage to our...

Surgery for Spinal Stenosis Sep 23rd, 2015

Spinal stenosis is a painful condition characterized by the narrowing of the spinal canal. This passageway contains your spinal cord as well as a host of nerve roots, and abnormal pressure in this area can cause pain and disability. Spinal stenosis is categorized as either primary or acquired stenosis. Primary – Primary...

Signs, Symptoms and Treatment Options For Brain Tumors Sep 21st, 2015

A brain tumor is a severe condition that needs to be addressed quickly, especially if it contains cancer cells. Since most people don’t get regular screenings for brain tumors, we want to share some of the signs and symptoms associated with the development of brain tumors. Additionally, we’ll discuss some of...

Hemifacial Spasm Signs & Symptoms Sep 8th, 2015

Hemifacial Spasm Information Hemifacial spasm is an involuntary contraction of one half of the face. In most cases the cause of the spasms are not harmful but they can be cosmetically undesirable or embarrassing. As with many brain conditions, pinpointing the exact cause is not always straightforward. Several tests are available to help...

5 Questions To Ask Your Surgeon Before Spine Surgery Sep 4th, 2015

Spine surgery is a huge decision, so it’s important to learn about the procedure and the doctor preforming the operation before you go under the knife. Today, we’ll explain five questions you should ask your surgeon before back surgery so the patient and the doctor are on the same page....