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Neurological Surgery

What is neurological surgery?

Neurological surgery, also called neurosurgery, is the branch of medicine that provides both operative and nonoperative management of disorders that affect the central and peripheral nervous systems, including their supportive structures and vascular supply, and the operative management of pain.

Neurological surgery encompasses disorders of the brain, spine, and nerves, including:

  • The extracranial and intracranial carotid and vertebral arteries

  • Intracranial aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, and other vascular malformations of the brain and spinal cord

  • Disorders of the pituitary gland, such as prolactinomas 

  • Tumors in and around the brain, such as gliomas, meningiomas, metastasis and acoustic neuromas 

  • Infections such as pus collections in the spinal area (epidural abscess) or in the cranial area (brain abscess)

  • Disorders of the spinal cord, meninges, and spine, including those that may need treatment by removing or replacing intervertebral discs, spinal fusion with or without instrumentation

  • Disorders of the peripheral nerves, such as carpal tunnel or entrapped ulnar nerve at the elbow 

  • Disorders of the autonomic nervous system, such as hyperhidrosis 

  • Disorders of movement, such as Parkinson disease, tremor and spasticity

  • Pain disorders, such as failed back syndrome or trigeminal neuralgia

  • Trauma, such as acute brain or spine injury or chronic subdural hematomas 

  • Epilepsy not responsive to medical treatment

  • Disorders of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) such as hydrocephalus and normal pressure hydrocephalus

  • Trauma of the brain or the spine and spinal cord, and post-traumatic conditions such as post-concussion syndrome

  • Functional disorders such as Tourette syndrome and depression

  • Inherited diseases such as neurofibromatosis (NF1 and NF2) and tuberous sclerosis.

  • Pediatric and adolescent diseases such as Chiari malformation, craniosynostosis, scoliosis and tethered cord syndrome

  • Intensive care unit (ICU) issues such brain swelling and coma

The surgeon who specializes in neurological surgery is called a neurosurgeon or neurological surgeon.

Online Medical Reviewer: Luc Jasmin MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 1/1/2021
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