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John Santa Ana, M.D.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) Physician

Michigan Regenerative Joint and Spine

Dr. John Santa Ana is a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) physician at Michigan Regenerative Joint and Spine where he specializes in interventional sports and spine treatments.  

Previously, Santa Ana served as a general medical officer with the U.S. Army in Iraq and as PM&R Service Chief at the Madigan Army Medical Center.  He earned his medical degree at The New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, followed by a PM&R residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.


  • Interventional Sports
  • Spine Treatments


  • Michigan State License
  • American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


  • Doctor of Osteopathy, The New York College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • BS, Nutrition and Food Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 


  • PM&R Residency, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC 


  • American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 
  • Interventional Orthopedics Foundation 

  • Stem stells may help degenerative disc disease
    The Future of Regenerative Medicine
    December 14, 2018 | Articles

    Regenerative medicine describes medical practices focusing on amplifying the body’s natural healing processes to help regenerate unhealthy tissues and organs. For those with back and spine conditions, like degenerative disc disease and facet joint disorders, these treatments could be life changing.

  • Spinal Fusion Xrays

    In a study, 20% of patients showed signs of PTSD one year after spinal fusion surgery. Can talking to your doctor before surgery help, or is there a better way?

  • Adjacent segment disease and spinal fusion

    If you have had spinal fusion surgery, you may need more surgery within 15 years due to adjacent disc disease. Artificial disc replacement has proven effective in delaying or preventing ASD.

  • Failed back surgery syndrome
    Treating Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
    May 8, 2018 | Articles

    Despite the name, failed back surgery syndrome is not so much a syndrome but is a general term that refers to an unsuccessful back surgery that brings along chronic back pain instead of relief.

  • Why you need a second opinion before back surgery

    Dr. Francis Gamache Jr., MD, of the Hospital for Special Surgery conducted a 14-month study involving 240 patients with neck and back conditions seeking a second opinion on a spine problem that may require surgery. Of that number, “155 (65 percent) came for a second, third, or fourth surgical opinion following an earlier opinion from a surgeon who recommended an operation.” If you’re unclear as to what constitutes a second opinion, learn what they are and how to as for them in order to make an informed health decision before spine surgery.

  • Lumbar ADR and Spinal Fusion

    To assess the longevity, effectiveness, and safety of artificial disc replacement (ADR), a team of authors conducted a meta-analysis of the available randomized controlled trials with published five year outcomes comparing ADR to spinal fusion. The patients were those diagnosed with chronic lower back pain from single-level lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD). Here's what you need to know.

  • Artificial Disc Replacement vs. Lumbar Spinal Fusion

    To treat degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and other disc issues, physicians ordinarily start with a traditional approach. But, when conventional routes fail to relieve your constant pain, other more innovative approaches, may play a pivotal role in accelerated recovery. So let's find out which therapy prevails —spinal fusion vs. artificial disc replacement (ADR).