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A neurosurgeon is a physician who specializes in the surgical treatment of diseases or conditions that affect not only the brain but any part of the nervous system. The nervous system is made of the central and peripheral nervous system. The brain and spinal cord make the central nervous system (CNS), and the peripheral nervous system (PNS) consists of nerves that connect the CNS to all the other parts of the body.
The common reasons why people need neurosurgery include tumors (involving the brain, nerves, and spinal cord), neck and back pain due to spinal problems, peripheral nerve injuries, stroke, brain hemorrhage, aneurysm, vascular malformation, blood clot in the brain, Parkinson’s disease, brain infection, and traumatic injuries to the brain and spinal cord.
Neurosurgery is a technically demanding field of medical specialty, and the neurosurgeon should have excellent hand-eye coordination and vision to perform the surgeries. A neurosurgeon and neurologist work together and treat patients with complex nervous disorders like stroke, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, epilepsy, etc. But unlike neurosurgeons, a neurologist does not perform surgeries. Your doctor might refer you to a neurosurgeon if your neurological conditions cannot be treated by medicines alone.
A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases or conditions affecting the brain and spinal cord (central and peripheral nervous system) is called a neurosurgeon. This includes congenital disorders, tumors, injury, and infections of the brain and spine, and stroke.
If you are suffering from signs and symptoms, such as partial or complete paralysis, muscle weakness, seizures, loss of sensation, tingling sensation, chronic unexplained pain, etc., you might need to consult a neurosurgeon.
You should consult a neurologist for nerve damage or nerve problems. After diagnosis the cause and severity of nerve damage, the neurologist will prescribe medicines or refer you to a neurologist for surgery.
The common conditions that a neurosurgeon treats are:
- Brain aneurysms.
- Tumors of the brain or spinal cord.
- Head, spine, or neck injuries.
- Parkinson’s disease.
If your sciatica is not relieved with the help of pharmacological treatments and other therapies, then you can consult a neurosurgeon. The surgeon will surgically treat the cause of sciatica like disc herniation and nerve impingement.
Neurosurgery helps in treating conditions that cannot be treated with the help of medicines, congenital neurological disorders, and other brain and spinal cord diseases that can have severe side effects if left untreated.
Neurology is a medical specialty that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders affecting the central and peripheral nervous system, brain, and spinal cord. While neurosurgery is the field that deals with the surgical management of these conditions.
Aneurysm repair, craniotomy, disk removal, laminectomy, and spinal tap are the common surgeries that a neurosurgeon performs.
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