How to Know if You Need the Services of a Neurosurgeon
When most people hear the word 'neurosurgery,' they think of a brain surgeon. However, a neurosurgeon actually does much more than just operate on brains. They are sometimes also thought of as a back surgeon, and are responsible for operating on the central and peripheral nervous system. In fact, it's estimated that neurosurgeons spend around 70% of their time treating back pain, neck pain, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, and leg pain, which should come as no surprise since about 80% of disorders in the highest three disability classes are neurological in nature.
Neurosurgeons have the longest training period in the medical field. This extensive training and education is imperative, because of the nervous system's complexities. Neurosurgeons work with the entire nervous system, which runs through your spine and reaches all areas of your body. These medical professionals are prepared to treat many conditions, including:
- Lower back pain
- Sciatica issues
- Pinched nerves
- Chronic pain
The past three decades have proven incredibly beneficial for the field of neurosurgery. Specifically, the understanding of spinal bio-mechanics, proliferation of sophisticated spinal instrumentation devices, advances in bone fusion techniques, refinement of anterior approaches to the spine, and development of microsurgical and minimally invasive methods has skyrocketed. These breakthroughs have made it possible to stabilize every inch of the spine successfully, regardless of the cause. This has made minimally invasive lower back surgery possible, as well as a plethora of other procedures.
While minimally invasive lower back surgery is the ideal solution for spinal issues causing chronic pain, this may not always be the best option for every patient. Lower back surgery can be an extensive type of surgery and comes with a longer healing period and lower success rate than surgery for a pinched nerve. The good news is that there are other methods of treatment available to curb lower back pain.
While many patients think of neurosurgeons as physicians performing extensive and complex surgeries on brains, they are also brain and spine surgeons who can treat chronic pain. If you suffer from back and nerve pain, ask your primary physician if a neurosurgeon would be able to treat your condition.