A Comprehensive Spine Center

The spine surgeons of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates have invented minimally invasive procedures that greatly reduce patient recovery time, have trained and treated other doctors from around the world, and are currently involved in clinical trials that could revolutionize the treatment of spine disorders. While we continue to pioneer the field of spine surgery, we are most proud of the fact that more than half of the patients we evaluate are able to use non-surgical treatments and avoid surgery.

When it comes to spinal expertise, Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates stands on par with any private or academic group in the nation. Our spine surgeons continue to expand the frontiers of this specialty by developing and putting the latest techniques into practice.

Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Provides Comprehensive Treatment Of:

  • Fractures
  • Tumors
  • Spinal TraumaDisc Herniation
  • Disc Disease
  • Bone Spurs
  • Compressed Nerve Root
  • Degenerative Spine Diseases
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Scoliosis and Deformities

Minimally Invasive Spine Procedures:

  • Cervical MED - Developed by a practice neurosurgeon
  • Lumbar MED
  • Thoracoscopic Spine Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)

Additional Complex Spine Procedures:

  • Artificial Disc Implantation (lumbar, cervical)
  • Instrumented Spinal Fusions
  • Anterior Discectomy & Fusion
  • Anterior & Posterior Spinal Instrumentation
  • Anterior Odontoid Screw Fixation
  • C 1-2 Transarticular Screw Fixation & Fusion
  • Pedicle Screw Fixation
  • Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)
  • Adult and Pediatric Scoliosis Surgery

What About Laser Spine Surgery?

Why We Do Not Recommend Laser Spine Surgery

Patients often ask our doctors about laser spine surgery because of advertisements they have seen saying lasers can be used to relieve back pain. While lasers can be used effectively in many areas of medicine, such as eye surgery or brain surgery, lasers are not, in our opinion, a good choice when it comes to spine surgery.

As you would unquestionably expect, we stay abreast of all significant developments in spine surgery and we are not aware of any study or information that persuades us that the use of lasers during spine surgery is any more effective than traditional minimally invasive techniques. At the same time, we know lasers generate heat and that heat transfer to the surgical area can lead to nerve damage. Simply put, the physicians at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates believe the use of lasers would involve increased risk while not providing any appreciable benefit.

It is for these reasons that the physicians of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates do not recommend the use of lasers for any patients undergoing spine surgery.

Our team of experienced spine surgeons offer the latest advancements in minimally invasive spine procedures that can be performed on an outpatient basis. These advanced procedures require only a small one-inch incision, and allow patients to return to normal activities within a few days or weeks. We are wholehearted proponents of minimally invasive spine surgery and as one of the largest practices in the country we train other doctors from around the world in these minimally invasive techniques.

The world of spine surgery continues to rapidly evolve as minimally invasive techniques provide relief for patients while providing significantly reduced recovery time. Surgeries that used to require the cutting of muscle and months of recovery can now be performed on an outpatient basis with incisions as smal as one inch. Minimally invasive spine procedures performed by Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates includes:

  • Cervical Microendoscopic Discectomy (MED) - Developed by a practice neurosurgeon
  • Lumbar Microendoscopic Discectomy (MED)
  • Thoracoscopic Spine Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)

Microendoscopic Discectomy (MED)

Herniated discs are the most common, and most painful, back ailment. At Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, patients with cervical disc herniations have a minimally invasive treatment option. In 1997, one of our spine surgeons, Tim Adamson, MD, modified technology designed for lumbar surgery and developed an innovative solution for the cervical spine. Microendoscopic discectomy (MED), requires only a one-half inch incision in the back of the neck, allowing muscles to be merely separated. There is significantly less pain for the patient, thus resulting in a much shorter recovery time.

Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)

The Traditional Procedure
Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) is a surgical technique for relieving compression of nerves and placing bone graft between adjacent vertebrae to achieve a fusion. Typically, screws and rods or other types of spinal instrumentation are used to hold the spine in position while the bone heals. Indications for a PLIF may include leg pain and back pain secondary to degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, or recurrent herniated discs.

As with most minimally invasive procedures, the primary advantage is faster recovery for the patient. With traditional spinal fusion, a hospital stay of up to five days is needed, and recovery can take up to three months.

The Minimally Invasive Technique
Minimally invasive PLIF is an alternative to traditional, open spinal decompression and fusion. Minimally invasive PLIF achieves the same goals and objectives as the open surgery while minimizing trauma to the patient. 

The procedure is performed through two one-inch incisions on either side of the lower back. The paraspinous muscles do not need to be stripped from the spine, there is less tissue retraction, and blood loss is minimized compared to the open procedure. Bone removal, a discectomy, an interbody fusion, and pedicle screw insertion can all be performed through the same small incisions. Therefore, tissue trauma and post-operative pain are reduced, hospital stays are shorter, and patients can recover more quickly.