A neurosurgeon is a physician who specializes in surgical correction of nerve-related problems. The spine contains the most complex network of nerves in the entire body. Many painful conditions are blamed on nerve-related problems in or around the spine. Correct diagnosis, location and correction of these neuralgia conditions is crucial to a successful outcome of any type of treatment, including an operation. It is for this reason that neurological surgeons are some of the best trained doctors in the entire medical industry.
While neurosurgery is less common for back and neck pain sufferers than orthopedic surgery, almost every patient can benefit from consulting with a neurological surgery provider. In some cases, nerve surgery is the better way to go compared to orthopedic surgery and in these instances, a neurologist should be the one performing the procedure. I always recommend that patients seek opinions from multiple different types of doctors before agreeing to any invasive therapy option.
Surgeons each have their individual practice focus. Some neurological surgeons specialize in specific areas of the body. The hand, brain and spine are all common areas of focus. If you are considering neurological back surgery, it would be advisable to find a surgeon who does the majority of their work on the spine. This idea is logical, but often eludes patients searching for a doctor to perform an operation.
Do not be afraid to ask the doctor about their education, training and experience in relation to your specific procedure. It is always better to find out in advance if the surgeon is the best qualified to perform your selected procedure. Finding out later that they are not ideally qualified can have dire consequences.
Neurological surgeons often work with other types of general surgeons. The general surgeon will perform the majority of the operation, while the neurological surgeon will be brought in to do only the specific sensitive work on the nerves themselves. This way each doctor has the opportunity to do what they do best. It is a marriage of skill and training that often benefits both the doctors and the patient. In other cases, the neurologist may handle the entire procedure themselves. Make sure to discuss these options prior to undergoing the operation and learn how the inclusion of multiple doctors may end up costing more monetarily.
Remember that many spinal conditions are blamed on a causative neurological component. Pinched nerves are commonly diagnosed conditions, but rarely cause perennial chronic pain, even when they actually do exist.
Oxygen deprivation is one of the most common alternative explanations behind unresolved back pain. Make sure to remember this before undergoing surgery to correct a diagnosed nerve problem in the spine.
There is nothing worse than enduring an operation only to find the pain is still there and now you have been permanently altered in your mobility and flexibility. This condition is referred to as failed back surgery syndrome and affects countless patients with permanent disabilities and functional limitations.
Overall, I highly recommend neurology care for most patients who embrace the traditional medical route to treatment. I believe that a good objective neurologist can certainly help to positively diagnose the source of pain in many patients and is just as useful for eliminating suspected misdiagnosed causations. It is for this reason that I now rely exclusively on a neurologist to monitor my own spinal health.