SuzAnne Weston-Kirkegaard, 61, was afraid she may have had her last dance.

Five years ago, the competitive amateur ballroom dancer developed excruciating back pain. For years, she tried to manage the pain herself before coming to the Fairview Spine and Brain Clinic.

“I couldn’t even sit in the waiting room because it hurt so much,” says SuzAnne. “It’s amazing that I don’t have pain anymore.”

Years of pain

Despite the laundry list of remedies she tried in efforts to keep dancing competitively, nothing helped SuzAnne feel better for very long. Soon, caring for her back pain controlled her life.

“I still went to work, I still saw my grandkids, but my whole day was wrapped around easing my pain,” says SuzAnne.

Things got steadily worse. She could no longer sleep in a bed, walk straight or sit for very long. Worse yet, SuzAnne had taken ibuprofen so regularly that she developed bleeding ulcers and anemia.

Would surgery end her dancing days?

Out of options, SuzAnne sought opinions from doctors on what to do next. Each told her that her dancing days would be over—until she came to Fairview Spine and Brain Clinic.

“My initial visit was a last, desperate effort to continue my passion for ballroom dancing. I was in a lot of pain and feared I was done being active for the rest of my life,” SuzAnne says. “Dr. Harris told me, ‘I am going to fix this so you can get back to doing what you do,’ and he did! My back pain from the herniated disc is gone and I’m stronger than ever!”

Back on the dance floor

Today, a year after surgery, SuzAnne is dancing even more than before. She’s training six hours a week and traveling the country to compete in ballroom competitions where she will dance more than 50 times over the course of three or four days.

“My feet still hurt, but my back pain is gone,” says SuzAnne.

Here to help you

Dr. Frederick Harris, Dr. Rohan Lall and the entire Fairview Spine and Brain Clinic team provide minimally invasive and comprehensive spine care like SuzAnne’s, as well as surgical treatment options for many different spine and neurological conditions.

With locations in Burnsville, Edina, Elk River, Fridley and Princeton, you’re not far away from the expert care you need. Learn more