Neurosurgery is a branch of medicine focused on addressing a full range of injuries and conditions of the nervous system. Our nervous system is a complex and intricate network that includes nerves,the brain, and the spinal cord. All of them work in coordination to make our everyday functioning possible.
In this comprehensive guide, we will talk about everything that you need to know about neurosurgery, includinga brief introduction to neurosurgery and neurosurgeons, techniques and procedures used in neurosurgery, common conditions treated in neurosurgery, and what happens in a typical neurosurgery appointment?
A Brief Introduction to Neurosurgery
Neurosurgery is the branch of medicine that diagnoses, treats, and prevents disorders affecting your nerves, brain, and spinal cord. It involves the use of advanced surgical techniques and equipment to correct abnormalities of the nervous system, alleviate pain and address traumatic injuries.
Doctors who practice neurosurgery are called neurosurgeons. A neurosurgeon receives advanced training so that they can use a wide range of advanced approaches to treating injuries and disorders of the peripheral nervous system and central nervous system. Common conditions that neurosurgeons treat include traumas,vascular disorders, tumors,stroke, infections of thespine or brain, congenital anomalies, and degenerative diseases of the spine.
To become a neurosurgeon, one must complete four years of undergraduate education and four years of medical school. After receiving a degree of Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic (DO) from a medical school,they must completea one-year internship in general surgery.
An aspiring neurosurgeon also completes five to seven years of a residency program in neurosurgery and may complete a fellowship program after residency. During their residency,aspiring neurosurgeons may specialize in a particular area of neurosurgery, including:
- Peripheral nerve surgery
- Endoscopic cranial surgery
- Neurovascular surgery
- Functional Neurosurgery
- Skull base neurosurgery
- Spinal neurosurgery
- Stereotactic neurosurgery
A neurosurgeon always keeps up with the advances made in the complex field of neurosurgery through annual meetings,conferences, scientific journals, and research.
NeurosurgeryTechniques and Procedures
Neurosurgery is a rapidly evolving field and neurosurgeons use the most advanced tools and techniques to perform neurosurgery procedures.
Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI), intraoperative community tomography (iCT), electroencephalograms (EEG), and magnetoencephalographyare some of the most common imaging tools that are used to perform neurosurgery procedures.
Common Conditions Treated in Neurosurgery
Neurosurgery is a rapidly evolving field and new and advanced methods and tools are constantly being developed in this field. These innovations are expanding the list of nervous system conditions that can be successfully treated by a neurosurgeon. Most commonly a neurosurgeon can treat the following conditions:
- Traumatic injuries of the spine, nerves, and brain (including a skull fracture and brain hemorrhage)
- Infections of the nervous system, such as encephalitis and meningitis
- Congenital anomalies such as hydrocephalus, anencephaly, and aneurysm
- Psychiatric disorders that fail to improve with psychiatry treatments such as obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) and major depressive disorders
- Degenerative diseases of the spine, such as spinal stenosis and disc slip
- Parkinson’s disease
What Happens in a Typical Neurosurgery Appointment?
During your typical neurosurgery appointment, your neurosurgeon will first get to know you and your medical history and ask about your symptoms to reach your diagnosis. They may also ask you different questions related to your symptoms, their frequency, and intensity.
A neurosurgery appointment may also consist of a physical examination in which your surgeon will check your physical sensations, reflexes, speech, strength, coordination, and cognitive abilities. If needed they may also order some diagnostic imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography scan, X-ray imaging, positron emission tomography scan, nerve conduction velocity, nerve conduction studies, cerebral angiogram, and magnetoencephalography. In some cases, a neurosurgeon also orders laboratory tests like blood tests.
After diagnosing your unique problem,your neurosurgeon will develop a personalized treatment plan and discuss yourtreatment options with you. They will also inform you about the pros and cons of each option and ensure that you are confident about your decision.
Neurosurgery in Aurora, CO
The success of a neurosurgery procedure is highly dependent on the manual dexterity, skills, and expertise of a neurosurgeon. At Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, we have built an excellent reputation for providing high-quality care for a full range of cranial and spine conditions. Our compassionate and experienced neurosurgeons are trained to provide both surgical and non-surgical methods to help our patients suffering from nervous system disorders.