Ask the Expert Dr. Mark Chang: Less invasive surgery

By Giles Bruce

Dr. Mark Chang has been one of the leading spine surgeons in Northwest Indiana for nearly two decades. His office, Midwest SpineCare, is located in Dyer, and he is on the medical staff of Community Hospital in Munster.

Dr. Chang attended Yale University and went to medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina. He did his internship and orthopedic residency at New York University Medical Center and his spine fellowship at State University of New York at Syracuse. He has treated approximately 100,000 patients and performed more than 7,000 surgeries. He is committed to advanced, minimally invasive techniques. His latest is using the Kiva implant system to treat vertebral compression fractures.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about the device and who exactly it will work for and what it will do to help them? This development is for treating compression fractures, symptomatic compression fractures, a very common problem. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery is recognizing fragility fractures as a major health concern, as a major health issue in the United States. And vertebral compression fractures themselves make up the biggest component of compression fractures, more than hip fractures, more than wrist fractures. So it’s a very common problem. This is a way to treat that. It’s a way to do a simple outpatient surgery to immediately stabilize the fracture, relieve pain and improve functioning. In addition to alleviating the symptoms, it also helps restore the spinal alignment and hopefully prevents further fractures, because a big problem with patients who have these fractures is that once they have one they’re at high risk for developing more, either because of poor healing and misalignment, or because of other treatments that make the bone very hard. This is the latest phase in trying to stabilize the fracture with a bit softer way of fixing the fracture.

Q: What causes these types of fractures? The most common is osteoporosis, quite simply weakened bone over time in older patients.

Q: Will this work for anyone with this type of fracture? Generally it’s best to treat these as early as possible before the bone starts to heal. Before the bone heals, then you can actually realign the bone. Once it starts healing, then it makes it much more difficult to readjust and restore the bone alignment.


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