Did you know that 13.8 million patients require neurosurgery every year?

The work of a neurosurgeon can solve a wide variety of neurological problems. And, these medical professionals can changes lives. But, what is neurosurgery and what can neurosurgery treat?

Keep reading to find out.

What Is Neurosurgery?

Neurosurgery is the branch of surgery that focuses on the nervous system, which includes your brain, your spinal cord, and your nerves.

Patients often get operations on the following areas:

  • The skull
  • The vertebrae of the spine
  • The discs of the spine
  • Blood vessels throughout the body
  • Protective membranes
  • Soft tissues

There are smaller sects of neurosurgery that focus on specific areas of the body. For example, there’s neuro-oncology, neuro-trauma, cerebrovascular surgery, and more.

What Does a Neurosurgeon Do?

As the name implies, neurosurgeons practice neurosurgery. This means that they perform a variety of procedures on various parts of the nervous system:

  • Blood clot removals
  • Aneurysm repair
  • Tumor removal
  • Hemorrhage discontinuation
  • Trauma repair
  • Shunt insertion
  • Carpal tunnel release
  • Ulnar nerve release
  • Vagus nerve stimulation
  • Spinal radiosurgery
  • Diskectomy
  • Laminectomy
  • Spinal fusion
  • Vertebroplasty
  • Spine stabilization
  • Spinal reconstruction

Usually, neurosurgeons will try nonoperative methods first. They may recommend medications, injections, or physical therapy before performing surgery.

Is Neurosurgery Brain Surgery?

Neurosurgery includes brain surgery, but not all neurosurgery is brain surgery.

Neurosurgery is an umbrella term that includes brain surgery, spinal surgery, venous operations, and more.

What Can Neurosurgery Treat?

There are many conditions that affect the nervous system. Each one of these conditions may require treatment by neurosurgeons if they’re advanced:

  • Brain tumors
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Cerebrospinal fluid leak
  • Chronic pain in the back or neck
  • Congenital brain or spine conditions
  • Herniated discs
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Brain aneurysms
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pinched nerve
  • Sciatica
  • Seizure disorders
  • Spinal fractures
  • Spinal tumors
  • Spinal deformities
  • Traumatic nervous system injuries

The list goes on and on.

A neurosurgeon is able to perform a variety of procedures to improve the livelihoods of patients with nervous system deficits. If you believe that you may benefit from the care of a neurosurgeon, make a quick Google search for the “best neurosurgeon near me.”

When Would I Need to See a Neurosurgeon

Hopefully, you go your entire life without ever needing neurosurgery. However, this isn’t the reality for many patients.

Most patients who need to see a neurosurgeon will get a referral from a primary physician or a neurologist. But, not all of these referrals mean that you need neurosurgery.

A referral sets up an appointment, not a surgery. So, you may spend the entire appointment talking to the neurosurgeon about treatments other than surgery.

If you haven’t received a referral for a neurosurgeon and you feel that your neurological condition is negatively affecting your life, you should ask for a referral from your primary physician or neurologist.

Learn More About Your Health

So, what is neurosurgery? Well, it’s a branch of surgical medicine that focuses on the nervous system. And, if you have a neurological problem, you could benefit from the treatment of a neurosurgeon.

To learn more about your health, check out the rest of our blog.