Morristown: College Student Experiences Neurosurgery Sub-Specialty

Source: Health

If you saw New Jersey native and college freshman Abbey Velischek walking around or working out on campus, you would be surprised to learn that just months before, she had undergone major spinal reconstruction surgery.

Velischek, who had worn a brace for years to correct adolescent scoliosis, was finding herself in pain. X-rays revealed the curvature of her spine had worsened — she and her parents knew it was time to begin seriously exploring surgery. They were weighing the options for treating her scoliosis when they met Dr. Scott A. Meyer of Atlantic NeuroSurgical Specialists (ANS) close to home in the Morristown area.

Dr. Meyer, who specializes in reconstructive surgery for spinal deformities such as scoliosis, explains that even within the community of spine surgeons, there are far fewer who are comfortable addressing spinal deformities. “While neurosurgery in itself is highly specialized, a neurosurgeon’s sub-specialties can have a very significant impact on a patient’s health and long-term outcomes.” According to Dr. Meyer:

“Compared to the metal rods that were used to correct scoliosis decades ago, spinal fusion allows the curvature to be corrected at each point. Patients experience better results.”

“(With) have greater stability and flexibility, (they) typically return more rapidly to their normal functions. In Abbey’s case, it was clear that with the right approach, we could alleviate her pain and improve her quality of life.”

Patients also benefit from new, advanced technology. The Medtronic O-arm® Intra-operative Imaging System and the StealthStation® Surgical Navigation System, installed at the Overlook Medical Center and Morristown Medical Center, help ensure more accurate placement of spinal hardware, often with smaller incisions, shorter surgical time, less pain and faster recovery compared with older technologies.

Velischek elected to undergo the spinal fusion surgery. “(It) wasn’t a decision I made lightly,” Velischek said. “Dr. Meyer gave me all the confidence in the world that this was the best path for me. He was right.”

For more information, visit Atlantic NeuroSurgical Specialists at

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