What is Neurosurgery?

Neurosurgery is a branch of medicine that deals with the surgical treatment of problems affecting the:

  • Brain
  • Spine
  • Peripheral nerves and the
  • Arteries of the neck

The nervous system is formed by the:

  • Brain
  • Spinal cord and
  • Peripheral nerves

The brain is the command center of the body; among other things, it controls our movements, sensations, cognitive function, speech, feelings, and all our senses.

The spinal cord and peripheral nerves bring information from various parts of the body to the brain. The brain then responds to those stimuli. Nerves act like wires that bring information to and from the brain. On their way, these wires pass through the spinal cord that is protected by the spine.

The brain contains and is surrounded by fluid known as cerebrospinal fluid or CSF. The fluid can act as a shock absorber for the brain. The cavities inside the brain that contain the fluid are known as ventricles.

The brain depends on its blood supply to give it oxygen and nutrients. Four major blood vessels bring blood to the brain. These are called the carotid and vertebral arteries.

The spine is formed by vertebrae that are its solid building blocks. Discs are located between the vertebrae. Bones called laminae make up the posterior aspect of the spine. The spinal cord resides within the spine. Nerves emanating from the spinal cord go through bony tunnels to the remaining portions of the body.

The Role of a Neurosurgeon

The neurosurgeon's expertise is in determining whether non-surgical or surgical treatment is required for disease processes involving the brain, spinal cord or peripheral nerves.

The average training period for a neurosurgeon ranges from 5 to 7 years after completing medical school.

Because neurosurgeons have extensive training in the diagnosis of all neurological diseases, they are often called upon by emergency room doctors, internists, family practitioners, neurologists, chiropractors and osteopaths, for consultations.

Thanks to advanced technology and surgical techniques, the treatment of neurological diseases has become much safer and more successful.