Summer 2007 Issue

From “Unbearable” To “Pain-Free” In One Afternoon
We Helped Developer Mel Graham Overcome A Ruptured Disc
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.

In the fall of 2006, Graham began feeling numbness in his left hand. Within two weeks it had spread up his left arm. This turned into constant pain that kept Mel from sleeping at night.

“It was like the nerve was in the grip of a pair of pliers,” said Graham. “The pain was unbearable.”

Friends told Graham he should see neurosurgeon Craig VanDerVeer, M.D., of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. After an examination and imaging tests that were performed on-site at our Charlotte office, Graham was diagnosed with a ruptured disc and foraminal stenosis in the C6-7 levels.

“After looking at my scans, Dr. VanDerVeer thought that surgery was my best option for relief,” said Graham. “The staff was very accommodating and worked within my schedule to get the surgery lined up.”

In November, Graham underwent a laminotomy, foraminotomy and discectomy at our surgical facility, the Carolina Center For Specialty Surgery, to relieve the pressure on nerves in his spine. He was able to go home that same evening.

“I woke up pain-free,” said Graham. Over the next 10 days he experienced some soreness as a result of the surgery. After his 60-day follow-up appointment he was cleared to resume normal activity.

“It was a great experience,” said Graham. “I was well-informed about the surgery and everything went smoothly. It’s easy to see why they have a reputation for providing the highest level of spine care.”

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