Neurosurgery is a medical specialty that focuses on the diagnoses and treatment of disorders affecting the central and peripheral nervous systems (brain, spine, and the nerves that branch out from them). The specialty is just as complex as the very organ and structures it focuses on, and thus, many people, especially those who have little to no medical background, might say that understanding it might after all be “brain surgery.”
Here are a few facts about neurosurgery to help you get a much better grasp of the specialty.
Fact #1 Neurology and Neurosurgery Are Two Distinct Specialties.
While neurosurgeons and neurologists both have advanced knowledge of the nervous system—and often work collaboratively on challenging patient cases in which the decision for surgical intervention isn’t a clear-cut case—these two types of physicians belong to two distinct specialties. What sets a neurosurgeon apart from a neurologist is that only the former is qualified to perform surgery.
There is also an overlap between neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery as practitioners of both specialties provide nonsurgical and surgical treatment for spine conditions and disorders, but orthopedic surgeons focus on medical problems affecting the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, and soft tissues).
Fact #2 Neurosurgery Doesn’t Just Involve Surgical Interventions.
While neurosurgeons are highly trained in a vast variety of complex procedures, they often recommend surgery as the last-resort option and make sure to exhaust all conservative interventions first. These include medications, physical therapy, and epidural injections, whichever is deemed appropriate.
If you see a neurosurgeon, they will work with you to determine the most suitable treatment option for your condition. If surgery is indeed necessary for your case, they may perform it using the minimally invasive approach. With a minimally invasive procedure, your neurosurgeon will create tiny incisions using miniature surgical tools and image-guided navigation, allowing for reduced risk of infection and other complications, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery.
Fact #3 Neurosurgery Encompasses Many of the Most Complex Procedures in Modern Medicine.
The great complexity of neurosurgical procedures calls for high level of technical expertise and excellent manual dexterity skills. This explains why neurosurgeons undergo extensive and rigorous training.
To become a neurosurgeon, one has to complete four years of undergraduate studies, four years of medical school, one year internship in general surgery, and up to seven years of residency program. After residency, some neurosurgeons undergo fellowship training to specialize in a particular area. Even after one becomes a full-fledged neurosurgeon, they need to pursue continuing education to keep abreast of the latest advances in the field.
The education and training of neurosurgeons equip them to perform surgeries using the most sophisticated tools— including brain implants and a wide array of neurointerventional tools—and ensure optimal outcomes regardless of the complexity.
Trusted Neurosurgeon in Aurora, Centennial, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, and Parker, CO
At Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, our board-certified neurosurgeons are renowned experts in the field, and their commitment to providing the highest quality of care and unmatched treatment outcomes has made an appreciable difference in the lives of the people in the communities they serve.
To consult one of our neurosurgeons, contact us at (303) 790-1800, or fill out this contact form, and our staff member will contact you to schedule your visit.