The Spine & Back Blog

TOTEventImageJoin Dr. William Hunter and staff as we participate in the Warlick Family YMCA Trick or Trail Run at the Warlick Family YMCA (2221 Robinwood Road, Gastonia, NC 28054) on Saturday, October 23rd. As the title sponsor, all of us at the Neuroscience & Spine Center of the Carolinas would love to see you come out, have  a great time, and support a wonderful organization.

Warlick Family YMCA

The Trick or Trail Run supports the Warlick Family YMCA, a non-profit organization committed to helping members of our community live a balanced, healthy life in spirit, mind and body. The YMCA makes a positive impact in the Gaston County community through encouraging wellness and family on their beautiful 118 acre campus.

Register Now

Download our event brochure or visit the Warlick Family YMCA Trick or Trail Run website to register now.



Join Dr. William Hunter and staff as they participate in the Gaston County Walk for Wellness at Gaston Christian School on the 26th of June. Supporting the fighters, admiring the survivors, and honoring the taken. As an annual event, the Walk for Wellness to benefit Cancer Services of Gaston County, but the overall mental and physical health of their participants. 

Walk for WellnessDr. Hunter has been a long-time supporter of Cancer Services of Gaston County. Cancer Services aids clients within the community with education and support for cancer patients, family members, as well as caregivers. 

The fair is free to participate! Invite your friends, neighbors, family members, and bring your pets. Enjoy a morning walk to benefit cancer, and invite your friends and family to sponsor a donation or make a contribution in memory of a loved one. Music and refreshments are provided. Come join us for a fun Saturday morning 9am - 12pm, June 26, 2021.

Female with back pain speaking with neurosurgeonBack and neck pain affects thousands of people. Sometimes, the pain is acute; sometimes it chronic back and neck pain. People manage this type of pain in many different ways. Sometimes they rely on non-surgical treatments for back pain like medication--both prescription and over the counter or non pharmacological treatment for pain like heating and cold solutions or stretching. If back pain continues, however, it's important to have it investigated by a physician who specializes in back and neck issues. In fact, your primary care doctor is likely to refer you to a spine specialist if your back pain continues unabated. If you're coping with back pain that will not subside, it's important to visit a spine specialist for help.

Getting to the Root of Neck & Back Pain

Often, people can pinpoint when and why their back and neck pain began. They may have suffered a back muscle sprain or strain after performing yard work or moving furniture. This type of back injury may clear up on its own after a few days or, in some cases, a few weeks. When back pain persists, over-the-counter medications can often be used to treat the issue during the healing process.

Chronic neck and back pain is another type of problem altogether. Your physician may have told you that if your back or neck pain persists for more than 12 weeks, you likely need a different sort of treatment or medical intervention. In many cases, your physician will refer you to a spine specialist like a neurosurgeon who can diagnose the problem and prescribe a remedy.

Your neurosurgeon is likely to discuss the various causes for your back or neck pain such as:

There may be other causes that your spine specialist can point to depending on your specific circumstances.

How Can a Neurosurgeon Help?

A neurosurgeon will review x rays and other tests in order to help with diagnosing back pain. Non-surgical treatments, like physical therapy, acupuncture, traction, and massage, to provide back pain relief are always considered first. Your spine specialist might recommend weight loss or lifestyle changes to help you combat pain and address the root cause of your back pain. If a surgical procedure is indicated to treat your back pain, your neurosurgeon will discuss minimally invasive procedures, stem cell injections, and spine surgery with you.

Dr. William Hunter, back and spine specialist

If you are concerned about back or neck pain you've been experiencing, make an appointment with Dr. William Hunter, spine specialist and neurosurgeon at NSSC Spine Clinic. He has the experience and expertise needed to treat all types of back pain. The NSSC Spine Clinic has been serving Gastonia and the broader Charlotte, NC area including Belmont, Mount Holly, Gaston County, Meckleburg County, and portions of South Carolina for over 20 years.

Ready to Make An Appointment With A Spine Specialist?

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Minimally Invasive Surgery- TLIF

Dr. William D. Hunter performs a minimally invasive TLIF L5-S1 fusion in Gastonia, N.C. Watch as the intra-operative procedure is performed.



This video is reviewing the maximum access transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion. The MRI here shows the boxes are the bones, between the bones the disk spaces, and the white where the nerves are running. The last disk space is shorter in height, and there’s a herniated disk (the black area) pressing on the area white area where the nerves are. This is the plan for attack to perform a fusion surgery. The patient is in the prone position, properly prepped and draped, and then we make small skin incisions the size of a finger to go ahead and place the screws in place. We dilate the muscles. We’re not stripping any muscles, only dilating the muscles. We’re putting the screws in first. We’re putting two screws in at l5 and also s1, and between the two screws is the disk space that we’re going to attack. We use the monitoring system to make sure that when we’re putting the screws in that we’re in the safe zone. Because we’re using the small skin incisions, we use the C arm, the x-ray machine, as well as the monitoring system to make sure we’re safe. Green means we’re safe, and we’re going to go ahead and proceed in placing the screws in the area of where they should be within the vertebral bodies going through the pedicles. So there are pedicle screws being placed. Once the screws are placed - we have two screws in place (one at l5 and one at S1) - we then go ahead and we’re going to take the disc out between the two screws. Once we have the screws in place, we place the retractor and make a skin incision between the two screws, and now we have basically the size of two fingers to put attack the disk space. You can see here drilling down this is exactly what I see in the operating room. Between my drill right there you can see the two screws that are on either side. We drill down the bone. We’re getting down to where the disk space is. The disk space is covered by bone, so we remove the bone, and we’re going to go attack between the two screws where the disk space is. We’re now opening up the space for the nerves to run through. We identify the nerves, and we go ahead and take the disc out that’s causing the pressure. We remove the herniated disc and we’re taking the rest of the disc out. Once we take the rest of the disc out, you can see we have an instrument inside the disc space. Now, the disc space has been removed, and now we have to size up the disc space. We go ahead and put trials in so we can use the correct size, and we can jack that disk space up, which allows the nerves to have more room to run through. Here, we’re tapping in the trial to make sure that we’re all in the correct space and size. We then use the actual graft itself, and we place the graft inside that space. Then once we do that, we go ahead and put the rod between the two screws, torque it, and then we go ahead and remove the retractor system. We close the area up, and we’ve performed our procedure within a matter of minutes, we’ve now performed our fusion. You can see that there are the screws there. The top screw is the l5 screw, and the bottom screw is the s1 screw. There’s the l5, and s1. Between the screws of the rod is the rod, and inside that disk space it’s been jacked up, and we now have a graft inside the disk space, and you can see the hash marks show on the back and the front. That’s the procedure in performing our mass TLIF.