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Successful Back Surgery Propels Olympic Weightlifting Hopeful Melanie Roach to Realize Her Dreams Of Participating in the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Minimally invasive procedure performed by Dr. Robert S. Bray, Jr. of

D.I.S.C. Spine and Sports Center

ATLANTA, May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Weightlifter Melanie Roach is living her dream after successfully qualifying for the 2008 Olympics Saturday in Atlanta thanks to Dr. Robert S. Bray, Jr., one of the country's preeminent neurological spinal surgeons specializing in micro procedures. Bray performed a 45-minute minimally invasive outpatient microdiscectomy under a high-powered Zeiss microscope to remove three fragments pressing on a nerve from Roach's herniated disc in 2006.

"If it wasn't for Dr. Bray and the wonderful job he did on my surgery, I would never be in this position," Roach said. "If not for him, and his understanding that I was just not ready to give up, this day never would have happened. At first I was a bit apprehensive because you hear about so many horror stories with back surgery, but I knew a lot of wonderful people that really believed in Dr. Bray and I went on faith. The main reason I selected him was the fact that he understood the mind of an athlete."

Unlike years past, when back surgery meant an end to a sports career, today's advances in technologies and instrumentation for these surgeries are now career-extending. With significantly reduced trauma to the surrounding tissues and less post-operative pain, professional athletes, weekend warriors and the general public are benefiting greatly from these minimally invasive techniques.

Patients are enjoying faster recovery times and are able to return to active lifestyles with reduced pain and more functionality. Roach's incision for her microdiscectomy was a mere inch, she had less than a teaspoon of blood loss and was walking around within hours of her surgery.

"I am absolutely thrilled for Melanie and her family that her dreams have finally been realized, as she truly embodies the Olympic spirit," Dr. Bray, CEO and founder of D.I.S.C. said.

The petite Roach, at 5-foot-1, 117-pounds is an eight-time U.S. Champion and is a mother of three including a five-year child with autism. She had battled a herniated disc for the past six years that saw her hopes dashed prior to qualifying for the 2000 the Olympics.

SOURCE D.I.S.C. Spine and Sports Center
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