Neurology is a medical specialty associated with the diagnosis, surgical treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the nervous system. The nervous system includes the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system and extracranial cerebrovascular system. This is the treatment of congenital ailments, trauma, and infection-related or degenerative conditions.
Here are some examples:
Congenital diseases: Hydrocephaus
Case of infection: meningitis
Trauma: head or spinal trauma that can cause internal bleeding
Degenerative diseases: Parkinson’s disease
Neurosurgery is divided into different categories and a number of specialized branches.
General neurosurgery includes most conditions associated with trauma or neurological emergencies. An example is intracranial hemorrhage.
Vascular and endovascular neurosurgery
This type of surgery is usually associated with the diagnosis and treatment of aneurysms, carotid stenosis, stroke, vasospasm, and spinal malformations. Many times, surgical treatments for these conditions are conducted using minimally invasive techniques such as angioplasty or embolization.
Spine surgery includes the treatment of disorders affecting the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spines. The most common conditions include arthritis of the spinal discs, compression of the spinal cord which can be caused by trauma or spondylosis. Symptoms seen are usually poor balance or numbness and tickling in the hands and feet.
Peripheral nerve surgery
The most common peripheral nerve surgeries include carpellar tunnel decompression which treats carpal tunnel syndrome as well as peripheral nerve transposition. This branch of neurosurgery also addresses a number of nerve entrapment conditions:
Stereotactic, functional and epileptic neurosurgery are some of the other important parts of neurosurgery.
Apart from these specialized branches, neurosurgery also includes various surgical methods for diagnosing and treating neurosurgical conditions. In recent years, more modern alternatives have appeared and surgeons prefer to use them because they are less invasive and effective. Conventional methods require open surgery where the skull is cut open to access the brain. The newly developed methods allow specialists to surgically treat neurological conditions through smaller openings or minimal invasion using microscopes, endoscopes and other methods. Open surgeries are reserved for traumatic cases and emergencies.
Microsurgery – uses microscopic technology so that surgeons can treat affected areas of the brain through smaller openings. The processing area in this case is enlarged. Today’s advanced equipment allows surgeons to perform complex procedures through this type of surgery. It is overall less invasive and also convenient for the surgeon.
Endoscopic neurosurgery – is widely used in the treatment of pituitary tumors, cerebrospinal fluid leakage, hydrocephalus, colloid cysts and many others.
Neuroradiology – is also part of modern neurosurgery and plays an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological conditions. Some of the techniques of neuroradiology include:
· Computer-assisted imaging – more commonly known as computed tomography.
· Magnetic resonance imaging known as MRI.
· Positron emission tomography or PET.
Magnetoencephalography or MEG
A number of modern techniques, procedures and equipment have emerged, making neurological surgery more advanced and surgeons are better equipped to provide precise patient care.