What is a neurosurgeon?
A neurosurgeon is a specially trained medical doctor that diagnoses and treats conditions affecting the nervous system – the brain, nerves, and spinal cord. After medical school, their education continues with a year of general surgery training and an additional five to six years of neurosurgery training.
But they don’t only provide surgical treatment; they are also trained in and provide nonsurgical treatments. In fact, a neurosurgeon will initially attempt treatment with nonsurgical methods, recommending surgery only when necessary – and minimally invasive surgery when possible. They typically aim for the least invasive treatment possible that will get you the best results.
What does a neurosurgeon do?
A neurosurgeon’s extensive training prepares them to specialize in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions of the nervous system. These include degenerative diseases, congenital conditions, and spinal deformities. They will manage traumatic injury to the head, brain, neck, and spine. Other areas neurosurgeons may focus on are the blood vessels, nerves, protective tissues, and ligaments supporting the structures of the nervous system.
Many neurosurgeons choose a focus on subspecialty fields like functional neurosurgery or spinal surgery. Although neurosurgeons are often assumed to be brain surgeons, they actually treat more spine conditions than brain conditions. This is true of the expert physicians at Axion Spine and Neurosurgery.
Neurologist vs. Neurosurgeon: Are they the same?
A neurologist and neurosurgeon both specialize in the nervous system. The difference is hinted at in the title. A neurologist doesn’t perform surgery, but a neurosurgeon does. They may diagnose and treat the same issues, but if a neurologist thinks an injury or condition should be treated with surgery, they will refer the patient to a neurosurgeon.
What does a neurosurgeon do for neck pain/back pain?
One of the most common complaints a neurosurgeon treats is pain that originates in the neck and back. There are many possible causes of neck or back pain that a neurosurgeon can assess, diagnose, and treat, including:
- Bulging or ruptured disks
- Cancer of the spine
- Cauda equina syndrome
- Cervical radiculopathy
- Cervical spondylosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Infections of the spine
- Skeletal irregularities, such as scoliosis
- Spinal stenosis
There are also many treatment options ranging from regenerative therapy to surgery, depending on the diagnosis. Some treatments we offer for neck and back pain include:
- Back surgery
- Cervical fusion
- Disc replacement
- Intracept Procedure
- Lumbar fusion
- Medial branch block
- Neck surgery
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Regenerative medicine
- Spinal cord stimulator
- Spinal injections
- Spine surgery
Should you see a neurosurgeon for neck and back pain?
If you’re living with persistent pain, have experienced trauma to your back or neck, or have tried to treat your pain unsuccessfully – those are just a few reasons to see a neurosurgeon.
An appointment with a neurosurgeon starts like most other visits – with a physical examination and discussion about your history, conditions, needs, and your expectations for treatment. Then they will design a treatment plan that helps you return to a pain-free life.
Start your pain-free journey by scheduling an appointment today!