Neurosurgery (or neurological surgery) is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders which affect any portion of the nervous system including the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and extra-cranial cerebrovascular system.
Neuroradiology methods are used in modern neurosurgical diagnosis and treatment, including computer assisted imaging computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and thestereotactic surgery. Some neurosurgical procedures involve the use of MRI and functional MRI intraoperatively.
Microsurgery is utilized in many aspects of neurological surgery. Microvascular anastomosis are required when EC-IC surgery is performed. The clipping of aneurysms is performed using a microscope. Minimally invasive spine surgery utilizes these techniques. Procedures such as microdiscectomy, laminectomy, and artificial discs rely on microsurgery.
Minimally invasive endoscopic surgery is utilized by neurosurgeons. Techniques such as endoscopic endonasal surgery is used for pituitary tumors, craniopharyngiomas, chordomas, and the repair of cerebrospinal fluid leaks. Ventricular endoscopy is used for colloid cysts and neurocysticercosis. Endoscopic techniques can be used to assist in the evaculation of hematomas and trigeminal neuralgia. Repair of craniofacial disorders and disturbance of cerebrospinal fluid circulation is done by neurosurgeons, and depending on the situation, maxillofacial and plastic surgeons. Conditions such as chiari malformation, craniosynostosis, and syringomyelia are treated. This is called cranioplasty.
Other conditions treated by neurosurgeons include:
- Spinal disc herniation
- Cervical spinal stenosis and Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Head trauma (brain hemorrhages, skull fractures, etc.)
- Spinal cord trauma
- Traumatic injuries of peripheral nerves
- Tumors of the spine, spinal cord and peripheral nerves
- Intracerebral hemorrhage, such as subarachnoid hemorrhage, interdepartmental, and intracellular hemorrhages
- Some forms of drug-resistant epilepsy
- Some forms of movement disorders (advanced Parkinson’s disease, chorea) – this involves the use of specially developed minimally invasive stereotactic techniques (functional, stereotactic neurosurgery) such as ablative surgery and deep brain stimulation surgery
- Intractable pain of cancer or trauma patients and cranial/peripheral nerve pain
- Some forms of intractable psychiatric disorders
- Vascular malformations (i.e., arteriovenous malformations, venous angiomas, cavernous angiomas, capillary telangectasias) of the brain and spinal cord
- Moyamoya disease