A Brain Shunt consists of a small tube that surgeons insert into the skull to relieve excess pressure and fluid. Used to treat conditions such as Hydrocephalus, during which the brain produces an excess of Cerebrospinal Fluid. The excess fluid puts pressure on the interior of the brain, causing symptoms such as blurred vision, memory loss, and muscle instability. A Brain Shunt gives excess Cerebrospinal Fluid a place to go, relieving pressure and saving the brain.
To relieve Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, surgeons make a small incision below the wrist. The surgeon then inserts their scalpal and severs the Carpal Ligament, which runs across the wrist like a watchband. This releives the pressure on the Carpal Tunnel and allows the Ligament to grow back with more slack.
In between each of the vertebra of the spine sit the vertebral discs. These discs consist of a rubbery tissue that serves as a shock absorber for the vertebrae above and below it. If the Discs in the Cervical Spine degrade beyond repair, surgeons may opt to replace the rubbery tissue with an artifitial disc in order to maintain mobility and avoid a spinal fusion.
Chiari Decompression surgery serves to relieve the pressure caused by Chiari Malformation. Surgeons begin by making a small incision into the back of the skull and remove a small section of bone to allow access to the Dura, a protective fleshy covering for the brain. Surgeons carfully open the Dura, allowing the compressed Cerebellum portion of the brain to expand and relieve pressure. The Surgeon then sews a patch onto the opening in the Dura to protect the area while allowing the brain stem room to move.
If a patient suffers from Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, a surgeon may recommend a Laminectomy and Fusion. In a Laminectomy, the neurosurgeon removes the back section of a spinal vertebra, known as the Lamina, and then fuses the vertebra to the vertebra above or below it to maintain structure while relieving pressure. As a patented alternative to spinal fusion surgery, some patients may opt for a springy, titanium Coflex implant. This offers more range of motion than a standard laminectomy and fusion.
Craniectomy refers to the removal of a piece of the skull, most often done to relieve pressure caused by swelling. Intracranial Pressure, or ICP, can cause perminant brain damage or in some cases even death. This pressure can arise from an array of sources. Blood clots, strokes, and traumatic injuries may all cause an excess of Intracranial Pressure. Surgeons save the portion of skull bone removed during a Craniectomy in order to reattach it once the patient has fully recovered from ICP.
Craniotomy refers to the removal of a piece of the skull with the intent to operate on the brain. Unlike Craniectomies, Craniotomies remove a piece of the skull for the express purpose of gaining access to the brain to perform further surgery. The area of skull removed depends of the type of surgery performed and length of the incision needed. The surgeon usually replaces the portion of bone immidiatly after surgery.
When the rubbery disc tissue that sits inbetween the spinal vertebrae suffers degeneration or trauma, it may break down or extrude out of place. In the event of a disc hemorrhage, the tissue can push into the spinal column and irritate the nerve root, causing pain and discomfort. The treating physician may recommend a Discectomy or Microdiscectomy, a minimally invasive operation to remove or partially remove the damaged tissue to relieve the nerve.
ESIs, or Epidural Steroid Injections, can help reduce joint pain in the area around an arthritic joint. While not a permanent solution by itself, Injecting a corticosteroid into an arthritic joint space can drastically reduce pain and inflammation. The effects may last between 1 week to 1 year. Physicians usually employ Epidural Steroid Injections as a conservative measure before jumping to surgical options. Depending on the patient and ailment, ESIs may reduce pain to the point where Physical Therapy can take over, eliminating the need for some surgeries.
Patients that present with involuntary rythmic shaking will undergo a series of diagnostic testing to determine the true cause. If Physicians determine the patient has an Essential Tremor, they may treat it in a variety of ways. Anti-sezure medication, therapy, or deep brain stimulation surgery may all help with Essential Tremors.
A general term for difficulty lifting the front part of the foot. This usually causes a patient to unintentionally drag the front of the foot on ground as they walk. While not a disease itself, Neurologists take Foot Drop as a sure sign of an underlying neurological, muscular or anatomical problem. Patients who habitually cross their legs, kneel for prolonged periods of time, or have their leg in a cast may tend towards Foot Drop, due to compressing the foot nerve that sits close to the surface on the outside of the knee. Treatment for Foot Drop may include, braces, physical therapy, nerve stimulation, or even surgery.
The clinical term “foraminotomy” refers to a spinal surgery that a neurosurgeon performs to enlarge the passage from where the spinal nerve bundles to the body from the spinal cord . This surgical procedure relieves pressure from the compressed spinal nerve root. Depending on the location of the nerve compression, neurosurgeons can perform this operation at any level of the spinal column. Nerve compression usually occurs due to the deposition of bones, discs, scar tissues, or excess development of ligaments. This may result in a pinched nerve. Foraminotomy involves the removal of these compressors such as a small bony portion, scar tissues, soft tissues, etc. that causes the compression of nerve roots. Disc prolapse also removes in several cases by the microdiscectomy technique.
“Gamma Knife” refers to a specific kind of Stereostatic Radiosurgery. “Radiosurgery” despite having surgery in the name, does not actually involve any incisions or cutting of any kind. Surgeons utilizing Gamma Knife Treatment use computer imaging to target extremely precise areas of the brain with ionizing radiation to safely burn away tumors without harming the surrounding tissues. The machine utilizes several beams of gamma radiation projected from different angles. This limits the power of each individual beam to protect the healthy brain cells, while concentrating the center point of the beams on the cancerous cells.
“Hemi” meaning “partial”, Hemilaminectomies involve performing a laminectomy where the surgeon removes only a small portion of spine. This procedure involves the partial removal of the ridged vertebral bone known as the lamina that forms the back of the spinal canal. A Hemilaminectomy eases pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots by enlarging the spinal canal. Hemilaminectomies also remove any scar tissue or bone spurs that compressed the spinal cord or nerve roots. By this operation, patients get relief from the compression caused by an injury, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or spinal tumors.
Doctors may treat some Herniated Discs conservatively, though most patients will require a surgical discectomy. If the severity of the herniation causes patients difficulty walking, muscle weakness, or loss of bowel or bladder control, the neurosurgeon will suggest surgery. The specific surgery depends on the injury, ranging from Microdiscectomy to Disc Replacement or Fusion. For a slightly damaged disc, Neurosurgeon will perform a Microdiscectomy by opening a small incision in the patients back at the level of the affected disc. They will then remove the piece of the spinal disc pressing on the spinal canal and any other disc or bone fragments putting pressure on the nerve.
Kyphoplasty refers to a surgical procedure that helps to treat spinal compression fractures. Surgeons use a surgical tube and balloon to inflate the crushed area of the vertibra and inject medical cement into the space, stabalizing the spine.
“Laminectomy” refers to a type of surgery in which a neurosurgeon opens the back spinal canal to give more space to the nerve root. This procedure involves the removal of the ridged vertebral bone known as the lamina that forms the back of the spinal canal. A Laminectomy eases pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots by enlarging the spinal canal. Laminectomy also removes any scar tissue or bone spurs that compressed the spinal cord or nerve roots. By this operation, patients get relief from the compression caused by an injury, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or spinal tumors.
Patients may fight natural, age related loss of bone density by making simple lifestyle changes, exercising regularly, and taking doctor recommended suppliments. Patients who regularly perform weight bearing exercises have an easier time of combatting Osteopenia. Exercises such as walking, weight lifting or stair climbing all keep bones strong. Whether from taking doctor recommended suppliments or consuming foods rich in Vitamin D and Calcium, diet can also contribute to bone health.
An Ommaya Reservior grants physicians access to the cerebral spinal fluid in the patients brain. A small shunt placed under the scalp allows excess CSF to drain away from the brain to reduce pressure, and allows physicians to administer medications directly into the brain fluid. In addition, it allows Neurologists to easily take samples of a patients Cerebrospinal Fluid for testing without having to perform surgery.
Doctors administer a Phalen Test to determine if a patient suffers from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The patient places both elbows on a table while keeping both forearms vertical and flexing both wrists at 90 degrees for 60 seconds. If the patient suffers from Carpal Tunnel, they will experience pain or paresthesias in at least one finger innervated by the median nerve
In the medical sense, “Resection” simply means to cut and remove some part of the body. Doctors use vertebral column resection to correct certain spinal deformities. These deformaties can include scoliosis, where the spine curves to one side, or hyperkyphosis, which causes the spine to curl forwards, creating a hump in the back. After a resection, hardware such as screws, rods, plates or cages hold the spine in place while it heals.
Physicians treat Sciatica Pain in a variety of ways. Patients may find relief with ice-packs, anti-inflammatories, therapy, or Steroid injections. For a more serious case, Sciatica may require neurosurgeons to perform a laminectomy. In a laminectomy, the treating surgeon will remove a section of the spinal vertebrae to relieve pressure from the lower spinal column. If needed, the surgeon may also remove part of the vertebral disc to give more space to the spinal nerve root.
In a Spinal Cord Stimulation surgery, Spinal Surgeons implant a small electrode along the spinal nerve at the source of chronic pain. The electrode produces a low-level electrical current that stimulates the nerve and dissipates the pain signal. Before finalizing installation, surgeons will first sew up and wake the patient to test the efficacy of the electrode and fine-tune its strength. Once the patient has set the trial lead to their perfered settings, the physician performs one more surgery to set the final electrodes to the spine.
A spinal disorder in which a bone (vertebra) slips forward onto the bone below it. Some patients may recover after some time in a back brace, while others may require steroid injections or surgery. A Neurosurgeon tasked with operating on a Spondylolisthesis will most likely perform a Discectomy to remove the damageds pieces of the vertebral disc and replace it with an artificial support piece. After that, the neurosurgeon will fuse the vertebrae directly above and below the area for stability.
Physicians perform a Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion after a discectomy in order to fuse two vertibrae in the lower back and reduce pain. Interbody Fusion refers to a series of surgical procedures in which the operating sugeon completely removes a spinal disc from the lumbar area of the spine before fusing the surrounding vertebrae. Physicians use Interbody Fusions to relieve severe or chronic spinal pain caused by conditions such as disc herniations, slipped discs, or facet arthritis. As a relatively invasive procedure, physicians tend to suggest Interbody Fusions as a last resort after exhausting all other conservative treatment options.