Summer/Fall 2009 Issue

Less Waiting, Faster Relief
Spine Patients Are Evaluated And Have Surgery Within One Week

At Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, we’re committed to helping patients with acute spine problems get the relief they need as quickly as possible. Below are two examples of patients who had suffered for months and were then examined and treated in just days after they first contacted our practice.

Finding Relief In Six Days
Merna Johnson was in excruciating pain that radiated from her back to her leg. It was so intense, she had trouble doing her normal errands and activities. She made an appointment with another practice, but was going to have to wait seven agonizing days before she could even be evaluated.

She talked to John Welshofer, M.D., of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, who was also a member of her church, and two days later he saw her at the practice. Dr. Welshofer determined that Merna was suffering from lumbar disc herniation and surgery would be the most effective treatment. Two days later, she saw practice
neurosurgeon Hunter Dyer, M.D., and had an MRI at our office. He explained the surgical and nonsurgical options
to Merna and after careful consideration she underwent L4-5 microdiscectomy two days later at the Carolina Center for Specialty Surgery.

When Merna experienced heavy inflammation during her recovery, Dr. Welshofer scheduled another MRI and she also received a therapeutic injection within 24 hours.

Merna was amazed that she had been evaluated by two physicians, had an MRI, underwent surgery, and was feeling relief of her back pain within six days. Especially since she was going to have to wait seven days just to get an appointment at the other practice.

“I was seen quickly and there was seamless service between practice providers,” said Merna. “Even when I was undergoing physical therapy after the surgery, my therapist went on maternity leave and another one stepped in without missing a beat.”

Immediate Relief For This Doctor
Oral surgeon Dr. William Linger had a similar experience. He suffered from cervical sponydlosis and was referred to Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates by his chiropractor.

“On a pain scale from 1 to 10, I was at 20,” said Dr. Linger. “Not only was the pain unbelievable, the muscle weakness was starting to affect my work.”

Two days after he was referred, he saw Dr. Welshofer, who assessed his condition and referred him for a surgical consultation with Dr. Dyer. The next day he saw Dr. Dyer to discuss the surgical options. Within the week, William underwent a C5-6 microendoscopic discectomy and found immediate relief from his pain.


“These cases are prime examples of how our surgical and non-surgical specialists work together to triage patients and utilize on-site MRI and the convenience of our surgery center to provide prompt, appropriate care,” said Dr. Welshofer. Our multidisciplinary approach to spine cases allows patients with the most severe conditions to receive expedited care.

For more information about how our team of spine specialists can help your patients, call 800-344-6716.


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