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Neurosurgery

APC Icon — Neurosurgery

Neurosurgery is one of the more recent, and most advanced, branches of medicine.

Neurosurgery is a medical specialty that addresses the diagnosis, prevention, surgical treatments and rehabilitation of disorders affecting the nervous system which includes the peripheral and central nervous system, spinal cord and brain.

Neurosurgeons use medication and therapy to manage neurological conditions and  perform surgical procedures to treat any diseases and disorders of the nervous system.The term neurosurgery is associated with brain surgery or spine surgery, and neurosurgeons are often referred to as brain or spine surgeons.

What is neurosurgery?

Neurosurgery is a highly specialized branch of surgery and medical discipline that deals with any diseases, injuries, or breakdown of functions in the brain, spinal cord, spinal column, the central and peripheral nerves, and cerebrovascular systems.

Apart from surgeries, neurosurgeons also facilitate non-operative management of neurological disorders and diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and trigeminal neuralgia, working closely with neurologists to manage care. This includes evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and neurocritical care of patients with different neurological conditions. Neurosurgeons diagnose neurological conditions using tools such as cranial taxonomy scans and Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRIs.

Neurosurgery is one of the more recently developed branches of medicine and is considered to be among the most advanced in its use of cutting-edge technologies in the procedures they perform. Neurosurgery deals with all age groups and in treating different conditions such as congenital neurological disorders, neuroblastoma, neurodegenerative diseases, neurovascular disorders, and more.

Given its wide scope of applicability, neurosurgery can also be divided into sub-specialities. These include:

  • Neuro-oncology
  • Spinal neurosurgery
  • Skull base surgery
  • Herniated disk surgery
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Peripheral nerve surgery
  • Neurovascular surgery
  • Spine surgery
  • Nerve trauma and pain management
  • Stereotactic neurosurgery
  • Interventional neuroradiology

While fundamentally a surgical discipline, neurosurgeons also manage cases with physical, pharmacologic, and minimally invasive and interventional therapies.

What are the common signs and symptoms of neurological disorders?

Neurological disorders have a wide spectrum of applicability and severity. Therefore, the symptoms cannot be generalized, with each specific neurological condition having a unique manifestation of symptoms.

There are, however, some physical symptoms that several of the neurological conditions have in common. These include:

  • Pain in arms and legs
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of sensation in limbs (partial or complete)
  • Loss of strength in the limbs
  • Seizures
  • Reduced cognitive abilities
  • Reduced functional abilities
  • Trouble speaking, reading, swallowing, breathing
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Unexplained bouts of pain
  • Reduced motor skills
  • Numbness
  • Loss of bladder/ bowel control
  • Back pain
  • Pain in arms and legs
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of sensation in limbs (partial or complete)
  • Loss of strength in the limbs
  • Seizures
  • Reduced cognitive abilities
  • Reduced functional abilities
  • Trouble speaking, reading, swallowing, breathing
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Unexplained bouts of pain
  • Reduced motor skills
  • Numbness
  • Loss of bladder/ bowel control
  • Back pain

Apart from the physical manifestation of symptoms, the onset or progression of neurological conditions can also cause sudden mood swings and episodes of depression and delusions.

What are the different types of neurological disorders?

Neurological disorders can be broadly categorized as the following:

  • Progressive conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, spina bifida, and motor neuron disease
  • Stable neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy
  • Genetic conditions such as muscular dystrophy and Huntington’s disease
  • Sudden onset conditions that are caused by an injury or infection to the brain or spinal cord -such as meningitis
  • Intermittent conditions such as epilepsy and onset of multiple sclerosis

There are over 600 different types of neurological disorders and injuries that need evaluation and treatment by a neurosurgeon:

  • Acute spinal cord injury
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Ataxia
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Tumors in the brain, spine, and other parts of the nervous system
  • Cerebral aneurysm
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Lumbar disk disease (Herniated Disk)
  • Meningitis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurocutaneous syndromes
  • Cluster, tension, and migraine headaches
  • Encephalitis
  • Septicemia
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Arteriovenous malformation
  • Astrocytoma
  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Brain metastases
  • Carotid artery stenosis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Central nervous system vascular malformations
  • Cervical spinal stenosis
  • Chiari malformation
  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Chordoma
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Cushing syndrome
  • Gaucher disease
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia
  • Glioblastoma multiforme
  • Glioma
  • Hemifacial spasm
  • Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Intracranial venous malformations
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Median arcuate ligament syndrome (MALS)
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Meningioma
  • Metachromatic leukodystrophy
  • Moyamoya disease
  • Myoclonus
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Oligodendroglioma
  • Peripheral nerve injuries
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Spinal cord lymphoma
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Subdural hemorrhage
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • Venous malformation
  • Acute spinal cord injury
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Ataxia
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Tumors in the brain, spine, and other parts of the nervous system
  • Cerebral aneurysm
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Lumbar disk disease (Herniated Disk)
  • Meningitis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurocutaneous syndromes
  • Cluster, tension, and migraine headaches
  • Encephalitis
  • Septicemia
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Arteriovenous malformation
  • Astrocytoma
  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Brain metastases
  • Carotid artery stenosis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Central nervous system vascular malformations
  • Cervical spinal stenosis
  • Chiari malformation
  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Chordoma
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Cushing syndrome
  • Gaucher disease
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia
  • Glioblastoma multiforme
  • Glioma
  • Hemifacial spasm
  • Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Intracranial venous malformations
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Median arcuate ligament syndrome (MALS)
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Meningioma
  • Metachromatic leukodystrophy
  • Moyamoya disease
  • Myoclonus
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Oligodendroglioma
  • Peripheral nerve injuries
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Spinal cord lymphoma
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Subdural hemorrhage
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • Venous malformation

How can you obtain the right diagnosis?

Given the wide spectrum of diseases, disorders, and injuries that can be classified under “neurosurgery”, getting the right treatment rests on the strength of the evaluation and diagnosis. There are different tests and assessments that neurosurgeons use to evaluate the condition of the patient. These include:

Neurological Examination

This type of examination is done to assess the sensory and motor skills of the patient, along with tests to check for balance, movement, cognition, speech, coordination, mental status, sensations, etc. Testing may also include evaluation of the specific nerves and an overall examination of the autonomic nervous system. Along with the patient’s medical history, the results of these examinations are used to arrive at a list of possible conditions (differential diagnoses). This list helps specialists further narrow down the type of tests and procedures that need to be done to arrive at an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Common Screening Tests

Common screening tests include X-rays, fluoroscopy, MRIs and CT scans. Routine blood and urine samples are also used in chemical and metabolic testing to rule out metabolic anomalies and the presence of toxins and infections.

Neuroradiology Procedures

Specialized procedures, such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and stereotactic radiosurgery, are additional tests used to identify brain tumors, infections, brain changes following an injury, degeneration, etc. Some tests such as the intraoperative MRI and the functional MRI are also used as part of neurosurgical procedures.

Additional Case or Condition-specific Tests

Based on the outcome of these examinations and tests, neurosurgeons working in tandem with other specialties may ask for a case or condition-specific test to be completed. These could include tests such as biopsies, angiograms, cerebrospinal fluid analysis (using a lumbar puncture or spinal tap procedure), electroencephalography, electromyography, electronystagmography, polysomnogram, thermography, evoked potentials, and myelography. Many of these tests are performed as outpatient procedures at Advanced Pain Care.

What are the different types of neurological and neurosurgical treatments?

Neurosurgeons perform surgeries related to the brain, spinal cord, spinal column, central and peripheral nerves, and cerebrovascular systems in different parts of the body. They also prescribe medicines and refer patients to non-operative treatments such as therapy and rehabilitation.

Neurosurgeons are highly skilled and can perform a range of surgeries from minimally invasive procedures (like pain management implantations) to complicated and conventional surgeries. Trained in the latest cutting-edge technologies, neurosurgeons at Advanced Pain Care use computer-guided intra-operative technologies, 3D and fluoroscopy imaging, laser assistance, endoscopes, and other types of advanced instrumentation to achieve precision in all surgeries performed at our owned and operated surgery centers in Central Texas.

The different types of neurosurgical procedures include:

Pain Management Procedures

Neurosurgeons specialize in surgery for chronic pain by implanting devices such as spinal cord stimulators, intrathecal pain pumps, deep brain stimulators, and peripheral stimulators. Other pain management procedures performed include laminectomy, spinal fusion, discectomy, peripheral nerve decompressions, microvascular decompressions, tumor resection, syrinx drainage and foraminotomy.

Minimally Invasive Surgeries

Minimally invasive surgeries include endoscopic endonasal surgery, ventricular endoscopy (used to repair cerebrospinal fluid leaks, pituitary tumors, etc.), techniques such as vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty for spinal fractures, spinal fusions, anterior cervical diskectomy, etc. Microsurgery is also used in several aspects of neurosurgery with microvascular techniques such as carotid endarterectomy and extracranial-intracranial bypass surgery.

Conventional Procedures

Neurosurgeons use conventional techniques and a combination of open and stereotactic techniques, such as stereotactic navigation, to enable 3D images of the patient’s anatomy during the procedure.

Commonly performed neurosurgeries include:

  • Acoustic neuroma surgery
  • Aneurysm surgery
  • Arteriovenous malformation surgery
  • Auditory brainstem implant
  • Brain aneurysm surgery
  • Brain rehabilitation
  • Brain stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Brain tumor surgery
  • Carotid angioplasty and stenting
  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Chiari malformation surgery
  • Diaphragm pacing for spinal cord injury
  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Fetal surgery
  • Hemifacial spasm surgery
  • Hyperhidrosis surgery
  • Pediatric brain tumor surgery
  • Pediatric cervical spine surgery
  • Peripheral nerve tumor surgery
  • Peripheral nerve entrapment surgery
  • Spasticity management for spinal cord injury
  • Trigeminal neuralgia surgery
  • Subdural hematoma surgery
  • Acoustic neuroma surgery
  • Aneurysm surgery
  • Arteriovenous malformation surgery
  • Auditory brainstem implant
  • Brain aneurysm surgery
  • Brain rehabilitation
  • Brain stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Brain tumor surgery
  • Carotid angioplasty and stenting
  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Chiari malformation surgery
  • Diaphragm pacing for spinal cord injury
  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Fetal surgery
  • Hemifacial spasm surgery
  • Hyperhidrosis surgery
  • Pediatric brain tumor surgery
  • Pediatric cervical spine surgery
  • Peripheral nerve tumor surgery
  • Peripheral nerve entrapment surgery
  • Spasticity management for spinal cord injury
  • Trigeminal neuralgia surgery
  • Subdural hematoma surgery

Advanced Pain Care/Advanced Neurosurgery is pleased to offer neurosurgery services for pain relief.

At Advanced Pain Care, our neurosurgery experts implant spinal cord stimulators, intrathecal pain pumps and peripheral nerve stimulators, minimally invasive spinal decompressions and discectomies.

Spine Surgery

Our neurosurgeons bring years of training, research, and experience to provide the ideal treatment for spinal conditions. Beginning with a conservative approach, our surgeons incorporate spinal surgery when it is the best solution. In partnership with Advanced Pain Care, multiple specialties can be part of a patient-centric treatment plan. These include physical therapy, rehabilitation, pain management, orthopedic surgery, and rheumatology.

As a multi-specialty group focused on addressing and relieving pain in our patients, the goal of Advanced Pain Care is to provide the best possible outcomes for our patients within a culture of service and care.

Spinal Disorders

To ensure you the highest level of care possible, neurosurgeons at Advanced Pain Care/Advanced Neurosurgery work with neurologists, physical therapists, physiatrists, and pain management physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological conditions for our patients.

Here are some common spinal disorders treated by our neurosurgeons at Advanced Pain Care:

  • Herniated Disc
  • Low Back Pain
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Neck Pain

Peripheral Nerve Disorders

Our neurosurgical experts have performed a large number of peripheral nerve entrapment surgeries – primarily carpal tunnel releases and ulnar nerve decompressions/transpositions.

The neurosurgeons at Advanced Pain Care offer a range of operative and non-operative treatments for different neurological conditions.

At Advanced Pain Care, the specialists in the neurosurgery department work in a multidisciplinary manner to provide the best treatment for different conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, spinal column, and central and peripheral nerves.

Treatments at Advanced Pain Care are patient-centric and include pharmacologic interventions, physical therapy, rehabilitation, critical care management, and pain management.

Visit https://austinpaindoctor.com/ for more information on the Neurosurgery specialty at Advanced Pain Care. If you are looking for the best neurosurgeon near you, call 512-244-4272 to schedule a same or next day appointment with a Neurosurgeon today.

FAQS

Q: What kind of surgeries do neurosurgeons do?

A: Neurosurgery is a highly specialized surgical and medical discipline that deals with any diseases, injuries, or breakdown of functions in the brain, spinal cord, spinal column, the central and peripheral nerves, and cerebrovascular systems in different parts of the body. Surgeries performed by neurosurgeons are done to correct the following diseases, disorders and injuries:

  • Pituitary conditions
  • Movement disorders
  • Spinal disorders
  • Stroke
  • Genetic neurological disorders
  • Neurovascular conditions

Q: What is the cost of neurosurgery?

A: Given the high requirement in skills and training and the complexity of surgeries, neurosurgery is considered among the most expensive surgical procedures. Before you opt for a procedure, make sure that you discuss the costs as well as the insurance coverage with your physicians at Advanced Pain Care. We will work with you and your insurance providers to facilitate the lowest cost to you. Outpatient surgery is much less expensive than going to a hospital.

Q: Do neurosurgeons only do surgery?

A: Neurosurgery is a highly specialized branch of surgery and medical discipline that deals with any diseases, injuries, or breakdown of functions in the brain, spinal cord, spinal column, the central and peripheral nerves, and cerebrovascular systems in different parts of the body. Apart from performing surgery, neurosurgeons also use medication and therapy to manage neurological conditions.

Q: How many types of neurosurgeons are there?

A: Neurosurgery deals with over 600 different types of medical conditions affecting the brain, spine, and central and peripheral nervous systems in the human body. With such a broad spectrum to deal with, neurosurgery is split into several sub specialties. Some of the most common sub specialties include the following:

  • Endovascular surgical neuroradiology
  • Cerebrovascular and skull base surgery
  • Functional neurosurgery
  • Neuro-intensive care
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Spinal care
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Neurotrauma