newsletter

Article Archive
Welcome to the online Article Archive of Neurosurgery Notes, the practice newsletter for Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. Click on the topics below to view list of related articles. You can also subscribe to Neurosurgery Notes by clicking the link to the right.




ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)

Helping In The Search For An ALS Treatment
Originally published Fall 1999
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates is playing an integral part in an innovative clinical trial to determine the efficacy of new drug, BDNF, in the treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). click here for full story

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Aneurysms

Stroke And Aneurysm Treatment Expands In Greensboro
Neelesh Nundkumar, MD, Is First Neurosurgeon In The Greensboro Area
To Offer Neuroendovascular Surgery
Originally published Fall 2014
Lifesaving neuroendovascular treatment is now available in Greensboro with the addition of fellowship-trained neurosurgeon Neelesh Nundkumar, MD. He is the first and only neurosurgeon in the Greensboro area to offer minimally invasive endovascular treatment for neurovascular disorders. Read more


Practice Neurosurgeon Is The First In NC To Use
Flow-Diverting Technology To Treat Aneurysms

Breakthrough Procedure Gives Hope To Patients With Large Aneurysms
Originally published Fall 2011
Practice neurosurgeon Joe Bernard, Jr., MD, of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, was the first surgeon in North Carolina and one of the first surgeons in the country to implant the recently FDA-approved Pipeline Embolization Device (PED). The PED is the first device of its kind, using flow-diverting technology to treat unruptured large and giant aneurysms through the blood vessel. Full story


Pioneering Procedure Used To Treat Aneurysm In Cartoid Artery
Originally published Fall 1999
Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s deputy Ronnie Presnell now has a lower risk of stroke thanks to a stent implanted by neurosurgeon Craig VanDerVeer, M.D., of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. A stent, which is usually used in combination with balloon angioplasty to open blocked arteries in the heart, was used to treat an aneurysm in Presnell’s carotid artery. click here for full story

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Artificial Disc

Artificial Disc Innovations
Improving The Lives Of Patients With Degenerative Disc Disease
Originally published Summer 2007
The advent of artificial spinal disc technology has opened new avenues of treatment for patients with degenerative disc disease. Since 2003, when Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates neurosurgeons implanted the first artificial disc in the Carolinas, our practice has remained a pioneer on both the local and national level in the field of artificial disc surgery. Full story


New Artificial Disc Study Seeks To Expand
Options For Patients With Degenerative Disc Disease
Kineflex™ Cervical & Lumbar Artificial Disc Implants To Be Studied
Originally published Spring 2006
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates continues to explore new innovations in spine surgery by participating in two new randomized clinical trials for the Kineflex cervical and lumbar artificial discs. Full story


An Artificial Disc Was The Perfect Fit For Mike Mariano
Originally published Spring 2006
Some say life begins at 40. Mike Mariano would probably agree. After living with intense back pain for 20 years, Mike underwent artificial disc surgery to replace his L5S1 disc, and felt immediate relief afterward. He refers to the procedure as his fortieth birthday present and says it completely changed his life. Full story


Artificial Disc Surgery Now Available In Concord
Originally published Spring 2005
The neurosurgeons of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates are now performing lumbar artificial disc surgery in Concord at Northeast Medical Center. The procedure was already available in Charlotte. The Charité™ Artificial Disc is the first device of its kind to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The artificial disc is designed to be an alternative to spinal fusion surgery. full story


Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Implants The First Lumbar Artificial Disc In The Carolinas
Originally published Winter 2005
On Thursday, November 18, 2004, neurosurgeon Dom Coric, M.D., of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, performed the first implantation of a lumbar artificial disc in North or South Carolina. The Charité™ Artificial Disc is the first device of its kind to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The artificial disc, which is used to replace a damaged or worn spinal disc, is designed to be an alternative to spinal fusion surgery.full story


Practice Neurosurgeon Is First In The Carolinas To Utilize Artificial Disc Device For Treatment Of Ruptured Discs
Originally published Winter 2004
An innovative new surgical procedure utilizing an artificial disc to treat degenerative disc disease (ruptured disc) was performed for the first time in both North and South Carolina by Dom Coric, M.D., a neurosurgeon with Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates in Charlotte. full story


Artificial Disc May Replace Fusion As Treatment For Cervical Disc Herniations
Originally published Summer 2003
The practice was selected as one of only 27 test sites in the country for the trial involving the Bryan® Cervical Disc System, an artificial disc designed to provide the motion and elastic characteristics of the natural cervical disc. click here for full story



Brain Surgery
Negative Impact Of Whole Brain Radiation Highlighted In New Cancer Study
Study Co-Authored By Dr. Anthony Asher Shifts Emphasis
To Focused Therapies For Brain Tumor Treatment

Originally published Summer 2015
The results of a 10-year international clinical research study, initiated by two Charlotte physicians, will impact the care of tens of thousands of patients with the most common form of brain cancer. The study demonstrated that the use of whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) had significant negative impacts on the overall quality of life for patients with brain cancer and did not extend survival rates. The evidence from this study should serve as a catalyst to immediately reduce the use of WBRT for treatment of cerebral metastases and accelerate the development of novel, focused therapies for brain cancer patients. Read more and watch the video


GREENSBORO PHYSICIANS TAKE BRAIN TUMOR TREATMENT TO NEW HEIGHTS
Doctors Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro To Raise Awareness For Brain Tumor Services
Originally published Summer 2015
Most climbers make the arduous six-day trek up Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, to put a check on their bucket list. For neurosurgeon Joseph Stern, MD, of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, the purpose of his climb was to raise awareness for the treatment and support services that are available to patients with brain tumors. Read more


Focused Local Brain Tumor Care
We Made A Difference For This New Father And His Family
Originally published Fall 2012
Seth Tinsley knows all too well how quickly life can turn upside down. At the age of 29, this firefighter was eagerly awaiting the birth of his first child when he learned he had a life-threatening brain tumor. With the help of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates neurosurgeon Tony Asher, MD, FACS, and other local, multidisciplinary brain tumor resources in the Charlotte area, Seth is now back at work and enjoying his life as a father and brain cancer survivor. Full story


With Our Help, A Brain Tumor And Spinal Cyst
Didn't Stop This Couple From Smiling
Last year was one that internationally known cosmetic dentist Ross Nash, DDS, and his wife, Debra Engelhardt-Nash, will never forget. They each overcame medical challenges that threatened their professional livelihoods and their future quality of life. As Debra faced the diagnosis of a critical brain tumor, her husband was suffering from debilitating pain in his right leg that jeopardized his successful practice and educational institute. Full story


From Trauma To Triumph:
Providing Lifesaving Neurosurgical Care
Originally published Spring 2011
Every trauma case is a race against time. Arriving at the best outcome possible requires not only specialized medical expertise, but also the highest level of teamwork and professionalism from the first responders to the hospital and surgical staff. The neurosurgeons of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates are proud to play a vital role in treating trauma patients in this region. Following are two different patient profiles about two young boys, each illustrating how all the pieces came together to result in triumph over tragedy. Full story


A New Ally For Brain Cancer Patients:
Nurse Navigator Will Help Coordinate Care
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates is pleased to welcome Renee Kelly, RN, as the first brain cancer nurse navigator for the practice. From the moment a patient is diagnosed with cancer, Renee will be available to answer questions, help schedule treatments, coordinate care and improve communication between specialists providing care and services including neurosurgeons, radiologists, pathologists and oncologists. Full story


Defusing A Ticking Time Bomb
Endoscopic Brain Surgery Saved This Young Woman’s Life
Originally published Fall 2009
On June 17, 2008, a time bomb began ticking in Sandra Fleming’s brain. On that day, she was in an auto accident that totaled her car. Although her injuries from the wreck were not life threatening, the accident placed pressure on a colloid cyst that had most likely been in her brain since childhood. In the weeks following the accident, this caused spinal fluid to begin accumulating in her brain causing headaches, dizziness and blurry vision. Sandra had no idea a cyst existed and was completely unaware that she was in danger. Full story


Cavernous Malformations -
Precise Surgery Reverses Paralyzing Effects
Of Large Vascular Lesion On The Brainstem
Originally published Spring 2009
Djena Ross was an active, healthy mother until the summer of 2008, when she began suffering the crippling effects of a cavernous malformation in her brainstem. The vascular lesion had left her paralyzed. Neurosurgeons from Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates performed delicate surgery to remove the malformation. Now, after rehabilitation, Djena has returned to an active lifestyle. Full story


Brain Trust:Bringing Cutting-Edge Brain Tumor Care To The Charlotte Region
Originally published Winter 2008
As the primary provider of brain tumor services in the Charlotte region, Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates offers state-of-the-art treatment, participates in advanced research trials and coordinates patient support. full story


Innovative Drug & Delivery Method May Revolutionize Treatment Of Brain Tumors
Originally published Winter 2005
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates is participating in a groundbreaking brain tumor study which incorporates both an innovative drug and delivery method. The Phase III Randomized Evaluation of Convection-Enhanced Delivery of IL13-PE38QQR with Survival Endpoint (PRECISE) Trial is one of the largest and most comprehensive clinical trials conducted to date for recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). full story


Racing Towards A More Promising Future For Cancer Patients
Originally published Winter 2005
To help garner local support for brain tumor research efforts in this region, the practice established the Brain Tumor Fund of the Carolinas (BTFC). This year, the first Charlotte Criterium was held to generate awareness of brain tumors and contributions for the BTFC. This televised professional cycling event drew 30,000 people to uptown Charlotte to watch teams from 12 nations compete for the largest purse in Criterium racing. full story


Brain Tumor Program Update
Originally published Spring 2002
As the primary provider of brain tumor services in the Charlotte region, our practice coordinates state-of-the-art technical services, patient support and education along with advanced research trials. Here is an update of services now available through our brain tumor program. full story


Current Brain Tumor Clinical Protocols
Originally published Spring 2002
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, in cooperation with the Blumenthal Cancer Center at Carolinas Medical Center, is offering a number of clinical protocols for the treatment of patients with primary and metastatic brain tumors.full story


A Progressive Brain Tumor Program In The Heart Of The Carolinas
Originally published Fall 2001
National clinical trials, innovative treatment options, and unique neurosurgical expertise are all available to brain tumor patients in Charlotte. click here for full story


Annual Neuroscience Symposium Focuses On Innovative Brain Tumor Diagnosis and Treatment
Originally published Summer 2001
The annual William R. Pitts Neuroscience Symposium and Memorial Lecture was held in Charlotte on May 1, 2001. This year’s scientific program focused on new advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors, and was held in the Carolinas Medical Center Auditorium. click here for full story


Charlotte Brain Tumor Patient Is First In The Country To Receive Experimental Treatment
Originally published Fall 1999
A new study is underway in Charlotte evaluating an experimental treatment of Glioblastoma, a type of incurable brain tumor. click here for full story

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Carpal Tunnel

Outpatient Surgery Provides Relief For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Originally published Fall 2000
People from every walk of life, from pianists and artists, to hairdressers and factory workers can be affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. Fortunately, there are several available treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome that can help remedy this painful condition. click here for full story



Concussions

Concussion Testing Vital For All Sports
Originally published Fall 2013
Sports concussions have become a fixture in the headlines, with a greater emphasis being placed on injury prevention for athletes at all levels. While football is a major focus, athletes in many other sports remain at risk of concussion. "Although football accounts for the majority of concussions in this community, girls soccer andcheerleading cause a surprising number of concussions," said David Wiercisiewski, MD, a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates and director of the Carolina Sports Concussion Program. Full story


Reducing The Impact Of Concussions
Over 15,000 Local Student Athletes Have Undergone Concussion Testing
Originally published Summer 2012
Since 2007, The Sports Concussion Program at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates has made a difference for thousands of young athletes in the Charlotte region. This was the first program of its kind in the area to diagnose and manage sports concussions in athletes age 10 and older. The program has grown significantly over the years, treating 13 times as many patients last year as it did in 2007. Full story


Everyday Technology Hinders Concussion Recovery In Teens
Originally published Summer 2012
Technology is a part of everyday life for most adolescents. Cell phones, computers, tablets, and video games hold their attention for hours each day. But for young athletes recovering from concussions, this technology is a roadblock to recovery. Full story


Partnering With SunTrust Bank To Provide
Free Concussion Testing For Student Athletes
Originally published Spring 2011
For the fourth year in a row, SunTrust Bank and Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates have partnered to offer free ImPACT baseline concussion testing to 5,000 student athletes in Gaston, Mecklenburg, and Union counties. This cognitive testing, the same used by the NFL, NHL, MLB, and college sports programs, is performed at the start of each sport's season. If an athlete suffers a concussion during the season, the test is taken again and compared to the original baseline results. This can help determine when or if an athlete can safely return to play. Full story


Concussion Recovery
Dad Seeks Second Opinion To Protect Son After Concussion
Originally published Spring 2009
Like most high school football players, Garret Blatnik loves to be in the game. But when a concussion put him on the sideline, his father, Tony, wanted to be sure he made a full recovery before getting back on the field. Garret plays football at Marvin Ridge High School in Waxhaw, NC. During practice in September of 2008, he had a collision during a play, which he still doesn’t remember. However, in the middle of the next play Garret just stopped in his tracks and appeared dazed. Full story


Saving Lives With Free Concussion Tests
Originally published Fall 2008
With three concussion-related deaths of student-athletes occurring in North Carolina this year, the importance of effective concussion management is more obvious than ever. Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates and SunTrust Bank are doing their part to ensure the safety of this region's young athletes by offering free concussion testing to 5,000 middle school and high school student-athletes in Mecklenburg, Gaston and Cabarrus counties. Full story


The Carolina Sports Concussion Program Helps Soccer Phenom Make The Pros
Originally published Spring 2008
When an athlete suffers a concussion, the greatest danger lies in returning to the field or court too soon and suffering a second, more debilitating or deadly, head injury. The Carolina Sports Concussion Program at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates can significantly reduce this danger by utilizing objective neurocognitive tests to determine if an athlete has fully recovered from a concussion. full story


Carolina Sports Concussion Program
Introducing A New Arena Of Concussion Management
Originally published Summer 2007
At Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, we’re taking a major step forward in the treatment and management of sports concussions with the creation of the Carolina Sports Concussion Program. This is the first program of its kind in the region. Under the direction of board-certified physiatrist David Wiercisiewski, M.D., the goal of the Carolina Sports Concussion Program is to accurately diagnose and manage concussions in athletes 10 years of age and older. Full story

Cranial Banding

Abnormal Head Shape Screening Clinic Offered At Charlotte Office
Originally published Summer 2000
Twice a month, our practice offers the screening clinic at the Charlotte office to assess infants with abnormal head shapes and determine if they are candidates for cranial bands or other forms of early interventional treatment including repositioning, neck exercises and, in rare cases, surgery. click here for full story

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Craniosynostosis
A New Endoscopic Technique For Treating Craniosynostosis Leads To Quicker Patient Recovery
Originally published Spring 2002
Endoscopic technology now allows the neurosurgeons at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates to greatly reduce recovery time for patients undergoing treatment for craniosynostosis.full story



Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep Brain Stimulation
Reducing Parkinson’s Tremor, Improving Quality Of Life
Originally published Winter 2010
Tremor, or uncontrollable shaking, in the hand, arm or leg is a notable symptom in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease. Experiencing tremor is what finally leads many patients to seek medical help when they have ignored other symptoms. When medications for treating tremor prove ineffective or present unacceptable side effects, deep brain stimulation (DBS) can be the answer. Full story


Groundbreaking Deep Brain Stimulation Eliminates Essential Tremor
Brain Mapping Technology Allows For Greater Precision
Originally published Spring/Summer 2008
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates neurosurgeon Martin Henegar, M.D., recently performed Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) with brain mapping to treat Essential Tremor, a nerve disorder characterized by uncontrollable shaking in different parts or sides of the body.


Epilepsy

Seeking Out Seizures

Originally published Spring 2012
Electrocorticography Provides Map For Eliminating Epileptic Seizures
An epileptic seizure begins when a tiny electrical "spark" spreads uncontrollably from one area of the brain to another. The cascading effect results in patients losing control of their bodies during the seizure and feeling as if they have no control over their lives. However, if physicians can identify the source of the seizure and pinpoint the specific part of the brain where the spark originates, it is possible for these patients to find the relief they desperately need. This outcome is the ultimate goal of epilepsy surgery offered at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. Full story


Patient Profiles: Lives Changed After Epilepsy Surgery
Originally published Spring 2012
At 61 years of age, Virginia has lived a full life of challenge and triumph. Since she was 18 months old, Virginia has suffered periodically from seizures. After giving birth to her daughter, the seizures stopped for 20 years. As she experienced the stress of working full-time, while also caring for an ailing husband and an elderly parent, the seizures returned. Full story


Epilepsy Surgery:An Underused, Life-Changing Treatment
Originally published Fall 2010
While medication is usually the first step in the treatment of epilepsy, it is often not the most effective. In fact, for almost one-third of epilepsy patients, medicine cannot adequately control seizures. For many of these individuals, surgery could have a profound impact. An estimated 20,000 to 70,000 people in the United States are considered candidates for epilepsy surgery, yet less than 5,000 have surgery each year. full story


A Minimally Invasive Solutions For Epilepsy Now Offered
Originally published Spring 2002
For over 50% of patients who are not good candidates for resective surgery, implantation of a left vagal VNS may significantly improve seizure control. full story

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Hyperhydrosis

Hyperhydrosis Now Cured With Minimally Invasive Procedure
Which Drastically Reduces Recovery Time For Patients

Originally published Summer 2000
Hyperhydrosis, a condition which causes excessive, unpredictable sweating, is now curable using endoscopic sympathectomy. This minimally invasive procedure offers a dramatically shorter recovery time than traditional thoracic sympathectomy, which requires months of rehabilitation. click here for full story


Endoscopic Sympathectomy Helped Golfer Austin Zeigler Get His Swing Back
Originally published Summer 2000
Initially, Austin tried medication which proved ineffective. After a thorough explanation of the surgical options, Austin agreed to undergo an endoscopic sympathectomy. click here for full story


Forms of Hyperhydrosis
Originally published Summer 2000
Types of hyperhydrosis and their symptoms. click here for full story


Non-Surgical Treatment Options For Hyperhydrosis
Originally published Summer 2000
Conservative, non-surgical treatment is often suggested and recommended before considering surgical intervention for hyperhydrosis. click here for full story

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Neuroendovascular Surgery

New Intracranial Stent Used To Prevent Strokes
Practice Neurosurgeon One Of The First In The Southeast To Use Wingspan™ Stent System
Originally published Spring 2006
Joe Bernard, M.D., of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, was one of the first physicians in the region to use a new, potentially lifesaving stent to open clogged arteries in the brain. If left untreated, such blockages can lead to a stroke. The new device, called the Wingspan™ Stent System, is the only device available in the U.S. for the treatment of intracranial atherosclerotic disease (ICAD) or blockages in the brain’s own blood vessels.Full story


Endovascular Coiling Offers Minimally Invasive Option For Treating Unruptured Brain Aneurysms
Originally published Summer 2005
A minimally invasive treatment option available through Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates is endovascular coiling. This procedure accesses the treatment area from within the blood vessel. The practice is the only neurosurgery group in the region, and one of only three in the Carolinas, performing the aneurysm coiling procedure.Full story


Stent System Is Effective And Less Invasive In Preventing Stroke
Originally published Summer 2005
Our Practice To Become Regional Training Site For Carotid Artery Stenting
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates has used stents to treat carotid artery disease for the past five years, and is the only neurosurgery group in the region performing this procedure. Full story


Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Is Among The First In The Country To Offer New Treatment for AVMs
Originally published Summer 2005
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates will be one of the first in the country, and one of only three sites in North Carolina, to offer Onyx® Liquid Embolic System, a new FDA-approved treatment for arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). Onyx is a sealant that blocks these abnormal connections between veins and arteries in the brain using minimally invasive endovascular techniques. Full story


Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Involved With New FDA-Approved Stroke Treatment
Originally published Fall 2004
The Merci® Retriever, an innovative new treatment for stroke, recently received FDA approval. Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates is proud to have been one of only two practices in the Carolinas and Virginia, and one of 10 sites on the entire East Coast, to participate in the clinical trial for the device. full story


Advancements In Endovascular Neurosurgery
Originally published Summer 2003
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates is playing a leading role in the advancement of endovascular neurosurgery in this region. Technological advances are being made in this field at a tremendous pace allowing more and more lesions to be treated with neuroendovascular therapy. click here for full story


Lesions Previously Thought Inoperable Now Treated Locally With Neuroendovascular Surgery
Originally published Fall 2000
Neuroendovascular surgery is an emerging specialty combining the skills of neurosurgery and interventional neuroradiology. These minimally invasive techniques have proven effective in the diagnosis and treatment of strokes, brain aneurysms, tumors, arterial venous malformations (AVMs), intracranial atherosclerosis, blocked carotid, vertebral and subclavian arteries, from inside the blood vessel. click here for full story


Conditions Successfully Treated With Neuroendovascular Surgery
Originally published Fall 2000
Following are a few examples of how neuroendovascular surgery is now making treatment possible for a variety of life-threatening conditions. click here for full story

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Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH):
Its Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment
Originally published Fall 2004
Hydrocephalus occurs when there is an excess accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain. It can be caused by a variety of disorders affecting the brain and spinal cord. If the cause is idiopathic, meaning that it cannot be identified, the condition is commonly known as Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH). click here for full story


Introducing The Adult Hydrocephalus Specialty Clinic
Originally published Fall 2004
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates recently established The Adult Hydrocephalus Specialty Clinic (AHSC) at its Edgehill Road office in Charlotte. The clinic offers the latest in diagnostic techniques to identify and treat adults suffering from Hydrocephalus, including Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH). full story

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Parkinson's Disease

Surgical Options Increasingly Effective for Many Parkinson's Patients
Originally published Fall 2000
Of the approximately 1 million people in the United States living with Parkinson’s disease, an increasing number are seeking surgical treatment for relief. This is due to advancements in surgical techniques as well as the fact that more patients are building up a resistance to medications which once proved effective for them. click here for full story


Pediatrics

A Growing Pediatric Neurosurgery Program
Originally published Spring 2014
For decades, Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates has made a difference for children in need of neurosurgical care, and this commitment remains steadfast. As Dr. Michael Heafner nears retirement at the end of 2014, our pediatric neurosurgery program is well-positioned for the future with the recent addition of Scott Wait, MD, and Mark Van Poppel, MD. These highly trained surgeons join Scott McLanahan, MD, in working closely with Levine Children’s Hospital to deliver advanced neurosurgical treatment options for children. Full story


Beyond Our Borders
Making A Difference In The Dominican Republic
Originally published Fall 2013
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates neurosurgeon Scott McLanahan, MD, led the Charlotte-based World Pediatric Project neurosurgery team to the Dominican Republic for their sixth annual mission trip in September. Full story


Finding A Seizure-Free State
A Five-Year-Old Must Travel From Tennessee to Find the Expertise to Treat His Rare Brain Condition
Originally published Spring 2013
From the time he was 12 months old, young Caleb Johnson suffered from intractable epilepsy due to a hypothalamic hamartoma. His condition resulted in recurring daily seizures, with more than a dozen seizures occurring some days. Hypothalamic hamartoma is an extremely rare growth in the brain. It is so rare that most neurosurgeons will never encounter the condition in their entire careers. The seizures severely impacted Caleb's development and personality. Full story


From The Dominican Republic To Charlotte
Providing World-Class Care To Patients From Across The Globe
Originally published Spring 2013
Two-year-old Damian Vargas made the trip of his life this year when he and his mother, Rosa, flew to Charlotte from the Dominican Republic. He came to undergo lifechanging cranial surgery to correct trigonocephaly, a premature fusing of his skull that caused his forehead to be triangular in shape. Full story


Reaching Around The World
Pediatric Neurosurgery Team Returns To Dominican Republic

Originally published Spring 2012
The Charlotte-based team of the World Pediatric Project (formerly International Hospital for Children), led by Scott McLanahan, MD, of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, returned to Robert Reid Cabral Children's Hospital in the Dominican Republic to assist in providing pediatric neurosurgical care. The team also provided medical supplies and education to the staff.Full story



Physiatry

Pinpointing Nerve Problems:
On-site Electrodiagnostic Medicine Delivers
Accuracy And Convenience For Patients
Originally published Spring 2009
The field of electrodiagnostic medicine offers effective testing options for determining the cause of muscle and nerve problems. Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates utilizes these tests, along with a full array of additional on-site diagnostic services, to provide greater convenience for patients. Full story


Ultrasound Aids In Treatment Of Musculoskeletal
And Peripheral Nerve Injuries

Originally published Spring 2008
Ultrasound technology is now being utilized at our Concord & Huntersville offices to evaluate and treat musculoskeletal and peripheral nerve injuries. full story


Expanded Nonsurgical Options & Rehabilitation Now Available At The Practice
Two Physiatrists Join Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates
Originally published Fall 2005
Physiatrists David R. Wiercisiewski, M.D., and John A. Welshofer, M.D., have recently joined Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, both physicians have practiced in the Charlotte region for more than a decade. full story



Physical Therapy
Improving Recovery With Physical Therapy
Specialized Therapies Available At Five Locations
Originally published Fall/Winter 2015-2016
For the past decade, Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates has offered on-site physical therapy. Having these services within our practice has proven to have a resounding impact on overall patient care. Our experienced team of licensed physical therapists works closely with our neurosurgeons and physiatrists to develop treatment plans, review patient progress and share insight for optimal
patient care. Read more

Getting Patients Back On The Green After Surgery
GOLF REHABILITATION & FITNESS PROGRAM
Originally published Fall 2013
“Six months after his surgery, Jim was pain-free and anxious to get back on the golf course,” said Graham Claytor, PT, MPT, SCS, CSCS, manager of the Physical Therapy Department at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. “That’s when we began training sessions with him through our golf program.” Full story


Physical Therapy: An Exercise In Achieving Results
Growing Program Offers Focused Services
Originally published Winter 2012
"Patients have access to the best of both worlds at our practice. We have renowned neurosurgical, physical medicine, and orthopaedic physicians, and we offer an outstanding physical therapy program with therapists at almost every office location," said Graham Claytor, MPT, SCS, manager of the physical therapy department at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. "Our mission in the physical therapy department is to improve patient recovery and rehabilitation." Full story


Getting Back On Course With Our
Golf Rehabilitation & Fitness Program

Originally published Spring 2011
Many golfers spend a great deal of money on new equipment and lessons to improve their game. Yet, they don’t consider that their physical fitness is crucial to taking full advantage of these investments. Proper time spent on golf-specific physical conditioning can help improve performance, lower your handicap, and decrease the risk of injury. Full story


Our Golf-Related Spine Rehab & Fitness Program Offers Focused Care
Originally published Winter 2010
It was happening two or three times a day. Patients who were recovering from back injury or surgery were asking physical therapist Graham Claytor, MPT, if there were any special exercises that could help them get back on the golf course more quickly. This constant level of interest was the impetus for the creation of the Golf Fitness Program at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. Full story


A Spring In His Step
Our Physical Therapy Department Kept This 95-Year-Old Man On Track
Originally published Winter 2009
At 95 years old, Albert Bradtke is not going to let his age, injuries or balance problems stop him. He just has too much to do. In recent years, Albert has enjoyed dancing, tennis, and exercising regularly at the YMCA. He even took a recent trip to Croatia. Although he has suffered from balance issues over the past decade, he credits physical therapy with keeping him active and out of the operating room. Full story


Avoiding Surgery Through Physical Therapy:
Our On-Site Services Provided Non-Surgical Relief For Hayes Thompson
Originally published Fall 2008
When Hayes Thompson began experiencing debilitating back pain, he knew two things – he wanted lasting relief and he wanted to avoid surgery. Using the on-site physical therapy (PT) services at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, he found exactly what he wanted. Full story


On-Site Physical Therapy Makes Treatment More Convenient For Patients
Originally published Fall 2005
Graham Claytor, MPT, and Ryan Klomparens, MSR, PT, now offer on-site physical therapy services at our new Charlotte office. These licensed physical therapists work together with our physiatrists and neurosurgeons to review patient progress, exchange information, and share ideas that lead to optimal patient care. full story



Pituitary Tumors

A Rare Pituitary Tumor Was The Single Cause Of Multiple Health Problems
Originally published Spring 2005
When Susan Jarrett went on her family vacation in the summer of 2004, she never expected how much a week at the beach would change her life. full story


Pituitary Tumors: Their Symptoms & Treatment
Originally published Spring 2005
Symptomatic pituitary tumors are uncommon. While more than 99% of pituitary tumors are benign, a pituitary tumor can cause problems due to its size, its production of excessive hormones, or because it causes the pituitary gland to become underactive. Because pituitary tumors can have such a wide range of effects on the body, they often present with what seem to be a long list of unrelated symptoms.full story


Transsphenoidal Surgery Effective In Treatment Of Pituitary Tumors
Originally published Spring 2002
For the majority of pituitary tumors, surgical care does not require a craniotomy. Instead, the preferred approach involves a transsphenoidal route (through the nose and across the sphenoid sinus of the face), resulting in no noticeable facial scar. The surgery involves some moderate facial discomfort, but is extremely well tolerated. full story



Practice News & Innovations
Negative Impact Of Whole Brain Radiation Highlighted In New Cancer Study
Study Co-Authored By Dr. Anthony Asher Shifts Emphasis
To Focused Therapies For Brain Tumor Treatment

Originally published Summer 2015
The results of a 10-year international clinical research study, initiated by two Charlotte physicians, will impact the care of tens of thousands of patients with the most common form of brain cancer. The study demonstrated that the use of whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) had significant negative impacts on the overall quality of life for patients with brain cancer and did not extend survival rates. The evidence from this study should serve as a catalyst to immediately reduce the use of WBRT for treatment of cerebral metastases and accelerate the development of novel, focused therapies for brain cancer patients. Read more and watch the video



GREENSBORO PHYSICIANS TAKE BRAIN TUMOR TREATMENT TO NEW HEIGHTS
Doctors Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro To Raise Awareness For Brain Tumor Services
Originally published Summer 2015
Most climbers make the arduous six-day trek up Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, to put a check on their bucket list. For neurosurgeon Joseph Stern, MD, of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, the purpose of his climb was to raise awareness for the treatment and support services that are available to patients with brain tumors. Read more


Board-Certified Physiatrist Dr. Scott Otis Joins Charlotte Office
Originally published Summer 2015
Physiatrist Scott Otis, MD, recently joined the Charlotte office of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates on Baldwin Avenue. He is certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Read more and watch the video



Help Us Take A Step Forward For Spine Research
Originally published Summer 2015
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates is hosting the first Back On Track 5K run/walk on Saturday, October 10th. Proceeds from this event will go to to the Spinal Research Foundation.Please join us for this event!
Read more


We've Expanded Our Operations Into The Triad Region
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Now Offers 46 Specialists And Nine Regional Offices!
Originally published Fall 2014
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates recently welcomed the physicians, staff and offices of Nova Neurosurgical Brain & Spine Specialists to our practice. With this expansion into the Triad area and the opening of our new Matthews office, our practice now has 46 physicians and nine office locations that span from Rock Hill to Greensboro. Read more


Stroke And Aneurysm Treatment Expands In Greensboro
Neelesh Nundkumar, MD, Is First Neurosurgeon In The Greensboro Area
To Offer Neuroendovascular Surgery
Originally published Fall 2014
Lifesaving neuroendovascular treatment is now available in Greensboro with the addition of fellowship-trained neurosurgeon Neelesh Nundkumar, MD. He is the first and only neurosurgeon in the Greensboro area to offer minimally invasive endovascular treatment for neurovascular disorders. Read more


Nonsurgical Spine Care Options Grow With Addition Of Newest Physiatrist
Sanjiv Lakhia, DO, Joins Ballantyne & Rock Hill Offices
Originally published Fall 2014
In addition to our current nonsurgical treatments, our newest physiatrist, Sanjiv Lakhia, DO, brings expertise in medical acupuncture and osteopathic manipulation that were not previously available at our practice. He also specializes in the treatment and management of sports-related concussions. Read more


New Matthews Office Now Open
Originally published Fall 2014
Our new Matthews location features a team of neurosurgeons, physiatrists and midlevel providers offering diagnosis and treatment of spine disorders. On-site services include physical therapy, therapeutic injections, EMG/nerve conduction studies. Read more


Shaping The Future Of Neurosurgery
Our Neurosurgeons To Serve As Faculty Of New Charlotte Residency Program
Originally published Spring 2014
Through the focused efforts of our practice neurosurgeons at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, and coordinatio with Carolinas Medical Center, a local neurosurgical residency program is now a reality. This subspecialty-based program is located at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte and the very first resident will begin training this summer.Full story


A Mission Of Caring To Nicaragua
Originally published Spring 2014
The physicians and staff of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates continue to reach out around the world to provide much needed medical care to developing countries. Most recently, physiatrist John Welshofer, MD, and Evelyn Chakarji, CMA, traveled to Nicaragua with a mission trip coordinated by BlessBack Worldwide. Full story


Fellowship-Trained Neurosurgeon Join Our Practice
Introducing Neurosurgeon Matthew McGirt, MD
Originally published Fall 2013
Fellowship-trained neurosurgeon Matthew McGirt, MD, recently joined the Huntersville and Charlotte offices of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. He completed a fellowship in spinal surgery at John Hopkins in Baltimore, where he also completed his neurosurgical residency. Full story


Fellowship-Trained Neurosurgeons Join Our Practice
Introducing Mark Van Poppel, MD, and John Ziewacz, MD
Originally published Summer 2013
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates welcomes two new fellowship-trained neurosurgeons, Mark Van Poppel, MD, and John Ziewacz, MD, to the practice. Full story


Tony Asher, MD, Named A Director Of The American Board of Neurological Surgery
Originally published Summer 2012
Anthony Asher, MD, FACS, of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates has been named a director of the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS). The board consists of 14 directors selected from practicing neurosurgeons throughout North America. Full story


Two Neurosurgeons Join Our Practice
Introducing Kevin S. Cahill, Md, PhD, MPH, and Scott D. Wait, MD
Kevin S. Cahill, MD, PhD, MPH, is joining our Charlotte and Huntersville offices. He completed a fellowship in complex and minimally invasive spine surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.Scott D. Wait, MD, completed his fellowship training in pediatric neurosurgery at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. He will be at our Charlotte location. Full story


Reaching Around The World
Pediatric Neurosurgery Team Returns To Dominican Republic

Originally published Summer 2012
The Charlotte-based team of the World Pediatric Project (formerly International Hospital for Children), led by Scott McLanahan, MD, of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, returned to Robert Reid Cabral Children's Hospital in the Dominican Republic to assist in providing pediatric neurosurgical care. The team also provided medical supplies and education to the staff.Full story


A Pioneering Effort To Improve Neurosurgical Care
National Outcomes Database Created To Track Quality Of Care
Originally published Spring 2012
Our practice is once again advancing neurosurgical care on a local and national level. Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates has helped create the National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database (N2QOD), a national registry that will track the quality of surgical care for the most common neurosurgical procedures. Practice neurosurgeon Tony Asher, MD, FACS, is the National Director of the program. Mary Cloninger, CMPE, Executive Director of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, serves as Co-Chair of the N2QOD business committee. Full story


Charlotte Business Journal Recognizes Our Practice For Excellence In Healthcare
Originally published Winter 2012
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates received an award for advancements in healthcare from the Charlotte Business Journal at their inaugural Excellence In Healthcare event.Full story


A New Addition To Our Concord Operation
Introducing Wilson Daugherty, MD, PhD
Originally published Fall 2011
We are proud to welcome Wilson Daugherty, MD, PhD, as he joins the physicians and staff of our Concord location in providing advanced neurosurgical care to this region. Full story


Physiatrist Peter Bailey, MD, Joins Our Practice
Originally published Fall 2010
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates welcomes physiatrist Peter W. Bailey, MD, to our practice. Dr. Bailey completed a fellowship in Interventional Spine & Musculoskeletal Medicine at The Smart Clinic in Sandy, Utah. full story


Innovative Upright MRI® Impresses Patients and Physicians
Originally published Fall 2010
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates recently introduced the first open and Upright MRI to the Charlotte region. This innovative scanner delivers diagnostic images of the spine that are unattainable by traditional MRI. “Referring physicians are pleased with the scanner’s ability to show patients in the upright, weight-bearing position, as well as flexion and extension, which no other scanner in the area can demonstrate,” said Bryan Harmon, RT, Manager of Imaging Services for Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. Many physicians and radiologists are pleasantly surprised with the amount of detail and clarity of the images this scanner provides, despite its open design. full story


Helping In Haiti - Practice Physician Provides Care In Port-Au-Prince
Originally published Spring 2010
From February 7 to 14, practice physician Samuel Chewning, MD traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, as a member of the North Carolina One Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT NC-1). Full story


Welcoming A Respected Spine Surgeon:
Samuel Chewning, Jr., M.D., Joins Our Team
Originally published Fall 2009
Orthopaedic spine surgeon Samuel Chewning, Jr., M.D., has joined Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates at our Huntersville and Concord offices.


A World Apart
Pediatric Neurosurgery Team Delivers Valuable Care In Santo Domingo
Originally published Winter 2009
In February, Scott McLanahan, M.D., of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, led the Charlotte-based team of the International Hospital for Children (IHC) on the second pediatric neurosurgical mission to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The group went to provide much needed assistance to Dra. Sonia Fermin, the pediatric neurosurgeon of Robert Reid Cabral Children’s Hospital. Full story


Practice Neurosurgeon Serves As Director On American Board Of Neurological Surgeons
Originally published Winter 2008
Neurosurgeon Craig VanDerVeer, M.D., of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates is currently serving as one of ten Directors on the American Board of Neurological Surgeons (ABNS). full story


Physiatrist John Lesher, MD, MPH
Joins Concord & Huntersville Offices
Originally published Winter 2008
Fellowship-trained, board-certified interventional physiatrist John Lesher, MD, MPH, recently joined our Concord and Huntersville offices. full story


New Surgery Center Offers Advanced Technology
And Convenience For Patients

Originally published Spring 2007
Carolina Center For Specialty Surgery, a joint effort between Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates and Carolinas Medical Center, offers a convenient, comfortable and safe alternative to having surgery at a hospital. This new facility, located at 1822 Brunswick Avenue in Charlotte, was designed specifically for elective outpatient and ambulatory surgical procedures. full story


Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Opens New Charlotte Office & Expands Services
Originally published Fall 2005
On October 31, 2005, Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates relocated its Charlotte office from Edgehill Road to a new building at the corner of Third Street and Baldwin Avenue. The practice’s administrative office and research department also moved to the new location.full story


Expanded Nonsurgical Options & Rehabilitation Now Available At The Practice
Two Physiatrists Join Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates
Originally published Fall 2005
Physiatrists David R. Wiercisiewski, M.D., and John A. Welshofer, M.D., have recently joined Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, both physicians have practiced in the Charlotte region for more than a decade. full story


Practice Neurosurgeon Elected Vice President Of The Congress Of Neurological Surgeons
Originally published Winter 2005
Anthony Asher, M.D, was elected Vice President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) at the organization’s annual meeting held October 16-21 in San Francisco.full story


Introducing The Adult Hydrocephalus Specialty Clinic
Originally published Fall 2004
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates recently established The Adult Hydrocephalus Specialty Clinic (AHSC) at its Edgehill Road office in Charlotte. The clinic offers the latest in diagnostic techniques to identify and treat adults suffering from Hydrocephalus, including Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH). full story


Scott McLanahan, M.D. Elected To American Board Of Pediatric Neurosurgery
Originally published Fall 2004
Practice neurosurgeon Scott McLanahan, M.D., was recently elected to the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery (ABPNS). The nine-member board is the governing body for the certification and recertification of pediatric neurosurgeons. full story


Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Holds Groundbreaking For New 52,000-Square-Foot Facility
Originally published Summer 2004
Upon completion, the new building will allow the practice to consolidate its office on Edgehill Road, as well as the administrative office and research department, which are currently on Morehead Street. full story


Addition Of Mobile “Short-Bore” MRI Means Greater Convenience And Comfort For Patients
Originally published Summer 2004
For the added convenience of patients, and to enhance their continuity of care, Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates recently added in-house MRI services to the practice’s Edgehill Road and Ballantyne offices. full story


Specialized Mid-Level Practitioners Add Efficiency And Continuity Of Care
Originally published Summer 2004
Since the addition of the first physician assistant in 1997, mid-level practitioners continue to play vital roles at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. full story


New Neurosurgeon Enhances Level Of Care At Our Rock Hill Office
Originally published Winter 2004
Mark Smith, M.D., joins Michael Cowan, M.D., at our Rock Hill office in offering a complete range of neurosurgery procedures. full story.


Neurosurgeon Trained In Complex Spine Disorders Joins Practice
Originally published Winter 2004
Vinay Deshmukh, M.D., is the newest addition to our neurosurgical team. He recently completed a complex spine fellowship and is a graduate of the University of Florida School of Medicine. full story.


New Ballantyne Office Opens
Originally published Winter 2004
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates recently opened a new satellite office in the Ballantyne area. full story.


Craniotomies Can Now Be Performed In Rock Hill
Originally published Winter 2004
A dedicated surgical ICU for neurosurgical patients, a clinical nurse specialist dedicated to neurosurgery, and the addition of an advanced BrainLab surgical device, have made it possible for the neurosurgeons of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates to treat brain tumors, vascular abnormalities, and other intra-cranial targets in Rock Hill. full story.


Practice Physician Develops Online Journal For Neuro-Oncology
Originally published Spring 2001
An online journal called the Select Review of Neuro-Oncology www.neurosurgery.org/tumor/selectreview/ has been developed under the direction of Anthony Asher, M.D., F.A.C.S., of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. click here for full story


Mark P. Redding, M.D., Joins Board of North Carolina Spine Society
Originally published Spring 2001
Mark Redding, M.D., of our Concord location, was recently named to the board of the North Carolina Spine Society.click here for full story


Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Physician Named Chief Of Neurosurgery At Presbyterian Hospital
Originally published Summer 2000
E. Hunter Dyer, M.D., of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, was recently appointed Chief of Neurosurgery for Presbyterian Hospital. click here for full story


Neurosurgeon Joe D. Bernard, Jr., M.D., Joins Practice
Originally published Summer 2000
Dr. Bernard is a graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine and completed his neurosurgical residency at the University of Tennessee, Memphis. click here for full story


Spine Specialist Joins Practice
Originally published Winter 1999
Spine specialist, Dom Coric, M.D., specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of spinal conditions such as spinal trauma, disc disease, spinal tumors, degenerative diseases of the spine, spinal cord injuries and congenital spinal malformations. click here for full story


The William R. Pitts Foundation - Established To Make a Difference
Originally published Winter 1999
As founder of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, the late William Reid Pitts, M.D., was a caring physician, respected colleague, and trusted friend. The goal of the William R. Pitts Foundation is to support research and education in the field of neurosurgery. click here for full story


Neurosurgeon Michael Cowan, M.D., Joins Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates
Originally published Fall 1999
Michael Cowan, M.D., studied thoracoscopic spine surgery for treatment of thoracic disc herniations and other spinal disorders. According to Dr. Cowan, this procedure allows patients to leave the hospital as early as the next day after surgery. click here for full story

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Scoliosis

Standing Up Against Scoliosis
Patient Is Four Inches Taller After Two-Part Spine Surgery
Originally published Spring 2014
Sarah Arnder didn’t realize she had scoliosis when she first went to see neurosurgeon Kevin Cahill, MD, and orthopaedic spine surgeon Samuel Chewning, MD, at the Concord office of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. The 62-year-old retired nurse was using a cane because she had difficulty standing. Over the last three years her spine had begun to turn and push her forward so that her stance was always unstable. Sarah also suffered from disabling back and leg pain. Full story


Spasticity

Intrathecal Baclofen Pump Is An Effective Option For Treating Spasticity
Originally published Spring 2001
Since 1990, Scott McLanahan, M.D., of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates has offered both neurosurgical and surgical options for managing spasticity in both children and adults. click here for full story



Spinal Fusion

Complex Spinal Fusion Is Used To Prevent
Paralysis In Patient With Gorham’s Disease

Originally published Spring 2006
In April of 2005, Malcolm Brelsford was suffering from a spinal staph infection that had left him unable to walk and almost completely paralyzed in his legs. The infection was causing the bones of his spine to deteriorate, and if left to progress would have resulted in fractures in his spine and eventual permanent paralysis. "When I was consulted, Malcolm's spinal infection was severe, his spine was gradually becoming more crooked, and there was pressure on his spinal cord," said Dr. Deshmukh. “We needed to clean out the infection and essentially rebuild his spinal column with screws, rods, and spinal fusion.” Full story


Condition Profile:Gorham’s Disease
Originally published Spring 2006
With fewer than 200 cases reported in the medical literature, Gorham’s Disease is an extremely rare bone disorder. This condition is characterized by bone loss (osteolysis) often associated with swelling or abnormal blood vessel growth (angiomatous proliferation). Full story


Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion Got Sandra Back On Her Feet The Day After Surgery
Originally published Spring 2005
Sandra underwent minimally invasive Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF), an alternative to traditional, open spinal decompression and fusion. As with most minimally invasive procedures, the primary advantage is faster recovery for the patient. full story


Bone Graft Alternatives Lead To Shorter Recovery Times
Originally published Spring 2001
Traditionally, bone from a patient’s own iliac crest was used to complete a spinal fusion. Today, we can now utilize banked bone as an alternative. This allows patients to avoid the pain and inconvenience of a donor incision, which often causes pain greater than that of the spinal incision itself. click here for full story


Spinal Stenosis
Taking A Shot At Avoiding Surgery
Epidural Injections Help Ed Karp To Manage The Pain Of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Originally published Winter 2008
Ed Karp has lived with lumbar spinal stenosis for nearly a decade. The intense pain this condition causes in his left calf can make it difficult to walk. Yet thanks to periodic epidural injections, physiatrist John Welshofer, MD, has helped Ed manage the pain and avoid surgery for 10 years. full story


Minimally Invasive Laminectomy Relieves Lumbar Spinal Stenosis With Faster Patient Recovery Time
Originally published Spring 2004
Through the use of endoscopic technology, Margaret underwent a minimally invasive lumbar laminectomy, returned home the same day, and felt immediate relief.
Click here for the full story


Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - The “Unknown” Spine Disorder
Originally published Winter 1999
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, medical professionals should be aware of a degenerative condition known as Lumbar Spinal Stenosis (LSS) when treating older adults for lower back pain. click here for full story

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Spine Surgery
WE HELPED THIS FORMER PILOT AVOID PERMANENT PARALYSIS
Wheelchair-Bound Patient Is Now Standing Tall Again After Two Spinal Fusion Surgeries
Originally published Summer 2015
From playing baseball at the University of Tennessee to flying fighter jets on four continents and having a 27-year career as an airline captain, Steve Wieland has led an incredible life. But by the age of 65, he found himself completely helpless. He was unable to walk and was losing function in his hands to the point that he could not feed himself. It would take timing, technology, surgical expertise and rehabilitation to give Steve a new life.
Read more and watch the video



Expanding Minimally Invasive Options For Spine Surgery
MAS® PLIF Provides Pain Relief With Faster Recovery
Originally published Fall 2014
Today, the use of minimally invasive techniques has expanded to include spinal fusion surgery, which is used to stabilize the spine and reduce or eliminate pain in the lower back and lower extremities. Traditionally, fusion surgery involved an open approach with longer hospital stays and months of recovery. A new minimally invasive option now utilized by our practice is MAS PLIF (Maximum Access Surgery posterior lumbar interbody fusion).
Read more


Treating Degenerative Disc Disease At Its Core
Clinical Trials Investigate Injectable Cell-Based Therapy For Back Pain
Originally published Summer 2013
What if there was a way to heal a damaged disc and prevent future degeneration? This is the question at the heart of a phase II clinical trial taking place at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates for NuQu®, an injectable, cell-based therapy for treating degenerative disc disease. The practice also participated in a phase I trial that was completed with positive results. Full story


New Solutions For Existing Spine Problems
XLIF Provides Alternative To Standard Fusion
Originally published Summer 2013
Spine surgery is constantly evolving, at times presenting new treatment options to patients who previously had none. Our team of spine surgeons at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates continues to seek, create and implement new spinal surgery techniques. For 75-year-old patient Julian Blackmon, the new XLIF procedure provided relief to his severe back pain when he thought he had run out of options. Full story


Spinal Deformity Surgery
Complex Procedures Can Reshape Patients’ Futures
Originally published Fall 2012
Spinal deformity surgery and complex spinal reconstruction surgery are necessary in cases where a deformity or misalignment is affecting a large segment of the spine or pressure on the spinal nerves must be relieved. Usually, the purpose of the surgery is to correct the curvature, stabilize the spine with instrumentation, and fuse the affected vertebrae. Full story


Lifesaving Procedure For Treating Cervical Spinal Infection Developed By Practice Neurosurgeon
Case Featured In Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine
Originally published Fall 2011
There is a new, minimally invasive option for treating cervical spine infections, developed by Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates neurosurgeon Vinay Deshmukh, MD, FACS, as described in the August 2010 issue of Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. This approach is much less invasive and requires no hardware or spinal fusion. Full story


Preventing Paralysis And Death By
Striking Quickly Against A Spinal Infection

Originally published Fall 2011
Spinal infections are challenging to diagnose because back pain is usually the only initial symptom. When other symptoms do emerge, such as limb weakness, fever, and heart arrhythmia, their onset is very rapid. The following case study is a prime example of how quickly a spinal infection can become critical and demonstrates the need for decisive action when it comes to spinal infections. Full story


Direct Lateral Spinal Fusions:A New Minimally Invasive Approach
Originally published Fall 2010
As Terri disembarked from a recent cruise, you would never know that the 53-year-old female was recovering from spine surgery. Just a few weeks prior, she had an XLIF® procedure, also known as a direct lateral fusion. This minimally invasive spine surgery results in reduced surgical times, less tissue damage, shorter hospital stays, minimal scarring, and a faster return to normal activities. full story


Less Waiting, Faster Relief
Spine Patients Are Evaluated And Have Surgery Within One Week
Originally published Fall 2009
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. Full story


Helping Patients Recover From Spinal Fractures
Advanced Options Significantly Reduce Pain
Originally published Fall 2009
Nearly one million vertebral compression fractures occur every year in the United States. These fractures can be caused by osteoporosis, tumors, or trauma and are most often treated by immobilizing the spine in a brace for up to three months. When a brace proves ineffective, many patients with this condition find relief from one of two innovative procedures: kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty. Full story


Preventing Paralysis
Young Teacher Undergoes Successful Spinal Tumor Surgery
Originally published Winter 2009
Dr. Kim observed that Christie dragged her right leg when she tried to walk and she had lost sensation in her feet to the point that she couldn’t tell whether or not she was wearing shoes. The blockage of spinal fluid caused by the tumor resulted in a condition called syringomyelia. Christie’s entire spinal cord had stretched and thinned down to the size of a shoelace. Full story


The Edge Of Innovation
Nucleus Replacement Technology
Originally published Fall 2008
Our doctors were the first in the Carolinas to use an artificial disc, as an alternative to spinal fusion, to treat degenerative disc disease (DDD). Unlike spinal fusion, spine arthroplasty technology, such as the artificial disc, has allowed surgeons to relieve pain while preserving motion for patients and protecting adjacent disc levels. Full story


Patients Find Alternatives To Spinal Fusion Surgery
By Seeking A Second Opinion

Originally published Spring 2008
Chuck Cloninger of Asheville and Robert Bass of Huntersville know the value of seeking a second medical opinion. They were both told that a spinal fusion was the only option to relieve their conditions and both found fusion alternatives at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. full story


From “Unbearable” To “Pain-Free” In One Afternoon
We Helped Developer Mel Graham Overcome A Ruptured Disc
Originally published Summer 2007
Mel Graham doesn’t like to slow down. When the intense pain of a ruptured disc stopped him in his tracks, Graham, nephew of evangelist Billy Graham and president of a real estate development and investment company, turned to Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. Full story


Time And Expertise Make The Difference In Patients Recovering From Traumatic Injury
Originally published Spring 2007
Quinteris Long was 14 years old when he tried a flip on a backyard trampoline and landed on the back of his neck. Right away, he noticed he could not move his arms or his legs. At the hospital, his family was told that he had a 50% chance of walking again. Remarkably, thanks to the speed in which he got to the hospital and the access to state-of-the-art care, he was able to start in his first JV basketball game just six months later. Full story


X Stop® System Is A Less Invasive Alternative For Treating Spinal Stenosis
The FDA-approved X STOP® system is a titanium implant that fits between the spinous processes of the symptomatic lumbar levels of the spine to relieve the symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis. The procedure does not require removal of bone or soft tissue, does not result in fusion, and is completely reversible. Full Story


New Artificial Disc Study Seeks To Expand
Options For Patients With Degenerative Disc Disease

Kineflex™ Cervical & Lumbar Artificial Disc Implants To Be Studied
Originally published Spring 2006
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates continues to explore new innovations in spine surgery by participating in two new randomized clinical trials for the Kineflex cervical and lumbar artificial discs. Full story


An Artificial Disc Was The Perfect Fit For Mike Mariano
Originally published Spring 2006
Some say life begins at 40. Mike Mariano would probably agree. After living with intense back pain for 20 years, Mike underwent artificial disc surgery to replace his L5S1 disc, and felt immediate relief afterward. He refers to the procedure as his fortieth birthday present and says it completely changed his life. Full story


Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Implants The First Lumbar Artificial Disc In The Carolinas
Originally published Winter 2005
On Thursday, November 18, 2004, neurosurgeon Dom Coric, M.D., of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, performed the first implantation of a lumbar artificial disc in North or South Carolina. The Charité™ Artificial Disc is the first device of its kind to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The artificial disc, which is used to replace a damaged or worn spinal disc, is designed to be an alternative to spinal fusion surgery.full story


Practice Neurosurgeon Is First In The Carolinas To Utilize Artificial Disc Device For Treatment Of Ruptured Discs
Originally published Winter 2004
An innovative new surgical procedure utilizing an artificial disc to treat degenerative disc disease (ruptured disc) was performed for the first time in both North and South Carolina by Dom Coric, M.D., a neurosurgeon with Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates in Charlotte. full story


Why A Neurosurgeon Is The Best Choice For Spine Treatment
Originally published Summer 2003
Neurosurgeons are usually associated with treating brain injuries and disorders. However, in most cases, a neurosurgeon can provide the highest level of expertise when it comes to treating spine disorders. That's because neurosurgeons actually complete more spinal surgery training than any other specialty and are the only physicians who treat the entire spine. click here for full story


Artificial Disc May Replace Fusion As Treatment For Cervical Disc Herniations
Originally published Summer 2003
The practice was selected as one of only 27 test sites in the country for the trial involving the Bryan® Cervical Disc System, an artificial disc designed to provide the motion and elastic characteristics of the natural cervical disc. click here for full story


Life-Changing Spine Techniques Reach From Concord To Rock Hill
Originally published Fall 2001
Our neurosurgeons have remained at the forefront of developing and implementing the latest advancements in the treatment of spinal disorders. click here for full story


Concord Oncologist Finds It’s A Small World When It Comes To Getting Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Originally published Fall 2001
With the help of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates and Northeast Medical Center, oncologist Richard F. Williams, MD, PhD, was able to undergo a minimally invasive operation called cervical microendoscopic discectomy (MED) without ever leaving Concord. click here for full story


Spine Surgery Gets Triathlete Back In The Race
Originally published Fall 2001
Just eight months after he underwent a posterior lumbar interbody fusion, Frank Bates completed an Olympic triathlon in two hours and fifty minutes. click here for full story


Endoscopic Disctectomy Surgery Proved to be an Ace in the Hole for Tim Hodge
Originally published Summer 2001
At the age of 40, Tim Hodge had never had surgery or hit a hole-in-one. Then within a two week period, he did both. click here for full story


Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Surgeon Is One Of First In The Country To Offer Microendoscopic Discectomy Surgery To Correct Cervical Disease
Originally published Winter 1999
Tim Adamson, M.D., of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates has recently developed a new form of microendoscopic discectomy surgery for correction of cervical disc disease. This technique significantly reduces the pain and recovery time usually associated with herniated disc surgery of the cervical area by decompressing the nerve root. click here for full story


New Cervical Procedure Helps Charlotte Obstetrician Make His Rounds (On and Off the Golf Course)
Originally published Winter 1999
John Allbert, M.D., had planned to undergo traditional microsurgery to correct his cervical condition, when he learned that he was a candidate for a new microendoscopic procedure developed by Tim Adamson, M.D. click here for full story

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Trigeminal Neuralgia

Delivering Relief From Trigeminal Neuralgia
Long-Suffering Patients Find An End To Intense Facial Pain
Originally published Fall 2013
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) has been called one of the most painful conditions a person can endure. With TN, the face becomes extremely sensitive to touch, and strong electric shock sensations are triggered when patients speak, eat, touch their faces, or brush their teeth. TN often causes people to become more introverted. Men stop shaving. Women stop using makeup. Their entire lives are affected. Anthony Asher, MD, FACS, of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates is the only provider in the region offering comprehensive care for patients with TN. Full story


Effective Treatment Options For Trigeminal Neuralgia
Originally published Summer 2001
Trigeminal Neuralgia or Tic Douloureux is a disorder of the fifth cranial (trigeminal) nerve that causes episodes of intense, stabbing, electric shock-like pain in the areas of the face where the branches of the nerve are distributed - lips, eyes, nose, scalp, forehead, upper jaw, and lower jaw. click here for full story


Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Trigeminal Neuralgia Study
Originally published Summer 2001
In an effort to assess response to various therapies here in Charlotte, Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates conducted chart reviews and patient contacts were performed to evaluate patients treated in our clinic over the last four to five years. click here for full story

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Vagal Nerve Stimulator

Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Surgeon Implants First Vagal Nerve Stimulator In North Carolina For Treating Depression
Originally published Fall 2005
The first vagal nerve stimulator (VNS) implant for Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD) in North Carolina was recently placed in a local patient by Michael Heafner, M.D., of Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates and John Blumer, M.D., of Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates. full story


A Minimally Invasive Solutions For Epilepsy Now Offered
Originally published Spring 2002
For over 50% of patients who are not good candidates for resective surgery, implantation of a left vagal VNS may significantly improve seizure control. full story

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