Three Medical Conditions That Neurosurgeons Treat

While you might be more familiar with a type of medical specialist called a neurologist, there are certain symptoms and conditions that a neurosurgeon specializes in treating. When a neurosurgeon makes a diagnosis, not only can they determine if surgery is necessary, but they can also perform the surgery.

Neurosurgeons treat many conditions that affect the spine, peripheral nerves, and brain. Here are three of those medical conditions that neurosurgeons treat.

1. Brain Aneurysms

When a weak area of a blood vessel becomes enlarged, it results in an aneurysm. While only up to 5% of the general population will have this condition, there is a 40 percent chance the brain aneurysm can become fatal if it starts to bleed. For those who don't die, there is up to a 35% chance of suffering brain damage.

While most brain aneurysms don't bleed, you should be aware of these symptoms that indicate a ruptured aneurysm:

  • Sudden severe headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Stiff neck

If you have any of these symptoms, you will need to seek immediate medical attention from a neurosurgeon.

2. Cerebral Palsy

Those who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy usually sustained a lack of oxygen either before, during, or shortly after they were born. This lack of oxygen causes damage to the brain, which often results in poor muscle control and limited motor skills. Most people who have cerebral palsy were diagnosed with the condition when they were very young.

If you or your child has this condition, here are some ways in which a neurosurgeon can help:

  • Implant a baclofen pump to decrease high muscle tone and reduce muscle spasms
  • Perform a surgery called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) in order to decrease spasticity of the muscles
  • Perform deep brain stimulation which can help reduce instances of involuntary muscle contractions

While these procedures are very invasive, they can do much to reduce pain for some people with cerebral palsy.

3. Spinal Cord Tumor

This type of tumor can cause severe pain and neurological problems. In some instances, depending on the location of the tumor, it can also cause paralysis. There are different kinds of spinal cord tumors including:

  • Astrocytoma
  • Chordoma
  • Glioma
  • Meningioma

The symptoms of a spinal cord tumor often depend on the size and type of tumor. For the most part, however, a spinal cord tumor will cause pain at the site of the tumor, muscle weakness, and a loss of sensation, especially in the arms and legs. A neurosurgeon can help to determine the type of spinal cord tumor and the treatment options available.

For more information, contact a company such as Neurosurgical Associates of San Antonio today.