Northern California Spine Institute Blog


Spinal Fusion San Francisco

First used to treat fractures, Spinal Fusion is now a treatment for age-related spine issues and spinal stenosis. Spinal Fusions surgeries are performed either on their own or in combination with other surgery to remove bone and tissue that’s narrowing the spinal canal and tightening the spinal cord. Spinal Fusion has also been used for tumors, injuries, infections, and herniated discs.

Spinal Fusion is a surgical procedure performed to fuse two or more vertebrae together through one of two methods. In one, bone is removed from the pelvic bone or taken from a bone bank and used to create a bridge between the vertebrae that are next to each other while new bone grows. In the other method, metal implants are used to hold the vertebrae together until the new bone grows.

To learn more about Spinal Fusions, click here.

Posted in General on April 17th, 2019

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Sonora

The sacroiliac join is a joint that exists in the bony pelvis between the ilium of the pelvis and the sacrum, which supports the spin. The purpose of the Sacroiliac Joint Injection (SI) is to diagnose the source of the pain and/or provide relief from the lower back pain and/or sciatica symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Performed under a local anesthetic and steroid medication, temporary pain relief may exist for several hours after the injection.

The Sacroiliac Joint Steroid Injection is just one of several non-surgical procedures we offer at Northern California Spine Institute. If you are interested in learning more about the Sacroiliac Joint Injection, and to find out if it may be right for you, contact our office to schedule your consultation today.

Posted in General on March 10th, 2019

Acupuncture Northern California

Acupuncture can help promote the body’s natural ability to heal itself and improve function. Performed by inserting needles and sometimes applying heat or electrical stimulation, Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. The chemicals released can either trigger the release of chemicals and hormones that can influence the body’s regulation system, or can change the experience of pain within the body.

Both physical and emotional well-being can be promoted through Acupuncture. If you are interested in learning more about how acupuncture can be used to prevent illness, treat various medical conditions, and promote health and well-being, contact our office to schedule your consultation today. 

Posted in General on February 23rd, 2019

Acupuncture Northern California

Acupuncture can be a very beneficial treatment to promote the body’s natural healing and improve function. Acupuncture is performed through the use of needles into very precise points of the body. The acupuncture points stimulate the nervous system to release chemicals in the spinal cord, muscles, and brain that can change the way you are experiencing pain and help the body’s internal regulating system. Many people, both men and women, seek out acupuncture for its ability to stimulate their body’s own natural healing abilities and to feel better both physically and emotionally.

Acupuncture is being used to treat various medical conditions, prevent illness and promote well-being. While some insurance companies recognize the value of acupuncture and over the costs, others do not yet. To learn more about acupuncture and to find out if it may be right for you, contact our office to schedule your consultation today. 


Posted in General on February 7th, 2019

Physical Spin Therapy Northern California

Physical Spin Therapy has helped many people improve the condition and alleviate pain. Dr. Meneken has over 30 years of experience and specializes in spine rehabilitation in our on-site physical therapy center. In addition to providing therapy, Dr. Meneken makes it his mission to educate his patients in order to prevent future injury as well. Physical therapy begins with a thorough evaluation in order to fully asses the patient’s condition, strength, flexibility and endurance. Next, Dr. Meneken works with the patient to create a customized treatment plan to achieve their goals.

The physical therapy treatments vary depending on the needs of each patient but may include hot packs, cold packs, electrical stimulation, therapeutic ultrasound, traction, exercise, and hands-on treatments. If you are interested in learning more about the Physical Spine Therapy treatments we offer, contact our office to see if we may be able to help you live a more comfortable life.

Posted in General on December 30th, 2018

San Francisco Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture is a popular method utilized today by licensed acupuncturists to help patients who are experiencing a wide range of issues from headaches, neck and back aches, tension, stress, and various neurological and musculoskeletal disorders receive permanent or temporary relief of their ailments. While most people would cringe at the idea of have needles inserted all over their body, the needles used in acupuncture are altogether unlike the needles people mostly think of from getting shots or having blood drawn. Acupuncture needles are thinner, lighter, with a finer point and they only go skin deep. While the experience of acupuncture varies from patient to patient, most feel little to no pain while the needles are being inserted, and none after they are in place. Along with the needles, occasionally heat or electrical stimulation may be used at precise acupuncture points to complete the treatment.

If you are ready to learn more about the benefits of acupuncture, we encourage you to read our online guide and to contact our office for any remaining questions you may have to to schedule your appointment. We look forward to helping you be more comfortable in your body!

Posted in General on November 19th, 2018

Kyphoplasty Northern California

When a spinal fracture occurs a Kyphoplasty procedure is performed to stop the pain, restore as much of the vertebral and stabilize the bone. A type of vertebral augmentation for compression fractures, Kyphoplasty Northern California is achieved through a small incision in the back through which a narrow tube is placed. Next, a fluoroscopy guides the tube to the fractured area of the back and the doctor uses X-ray imaging to place a balloon through the tube and inflates it gently in the vertebrae. The inflation of the balloon causes elevation of the fracture getting it back to the more normal positioning. Finally, the balloon is removed and a cement-like material (PMMA) is placed to stabilize the bone.

The Kyphoplasty procedure typically takes about an hour for every vertebra and patients are kept for observation in a recovery room following the procedure with some patients possibly spending the following day in the hospital as well. Transportation following the procedure must be pre-arranged as patients will not be able to drive themselves. To learn more about this and other back procedures we offer, contact our office today.


Posted in General on October 20th, 2018

Spinal Fracture Pain

Spinal Fracture Pain can be devastating, but Kyphoplasty can help stop the pain and stabilize the bone. Kyphoplasty is a type of vertebral augmentation used for compression fractures and it achieved through the use of a small incision in the back through which a narrow tube in inserted. Next, a fluoroscopy guides the tube to the fractured area and X-ray imaging is used to place a balloon through the tube and inflate it directly, and gently into the vertebrae. What the inflection of the balloon does is cases an election of the fracture to position it more normally and comfortably. Lastly, the balloon is taken out and a cement-like material known as PMMA is used to stabilize the bone.

This procedure to aid Spinal Fracture Pain typically takes around an hour for each vertebra and then the patients are usually kept in an observation room while they recover. Some patients may need to spend the following day in the hospital too. Transportation after the procedure will be pre-arranged as patients are unable to drive themselves home. To learn more about this procedure and recovery process, and to find out if it may be right for you, contact our office today.


Posted in General on September 23rd, 2018

PRODISC C Total Disc Replacement Northern California

The PRODISC C Total Disc Replacement implant is made of cobalt chromium molybdenum endplates with a plastic inlay forms a ball and socket joint. The total disc replacement implant allows patient the possibility for motion by enabling the top endplate to move over the plastic ball which is attached the bottom endplate. The materials used in the PRODISC C Total Disc Replacement implant have been utilized in spinal disc replacements for the last 20 years in Europe and have been used widely in knee and hip replacements around the world.
If you have symptomatic vervical disc disease (which also may be referred to as a herniated disc, spondylosis, or radiculopathy) the discs stop working due to injury or because of being worn down from overuse. You can see a loss in height if the vertebral bodies have compressed–and this compression on the nerves  or spinal cord can result in pain or numbness that can hinder your ability to perform your daily physical activities. To learn more about the PRODISC C Total Disc Replacement and to find out if it may be right for you, contact our office to schedule your consultation today.

Posted in General on June 26th, 2018

Medical Branch Block Northern California

What is a medial branch block?

The medial branch block is an injection of local anesthetic (and sometimes steroids) placed outside the joint space adjacent to the nerve that is supplying the joint. This nerve is called the medial branch. The role of a medial branch block is both diagnostic and therapeutic. Multiple injections may be required depending on the number of joints involved. Both facet and medial branch blocks may be performed for patients who are experience back pain due to lower back pain or arthritis in the joints.

What happens when you get a medial branch block?

When you get a medial branch block there are three things that may occur.

  1. The pain stops and generally stays at a lesser level in the days that follow.
  2. The pain stops for a few hours but then comes back at the same level and does not improve. In this scenario we can then at least deduce that the pain is likely in the joints.
  3. The pain doesn’t stop, at which point we can then deduce the pain is not derived from the joints.

To learn more about the Northern California medial branch block and find out if it may be right for you, contact our office to schedule your consultation with Dr. Krull today.

Posted in General on March 22nd, 2018