One of the most important roles of the spine is to surround, protect, and transmit the spinal cord and spinal nerves. Only through such a protected environment can the spinal cord and nerve roots remain safe and effectively function.
Most spinal conditions, such as stenosis, herniated disc, degenerative spine conditions, trauma, and tumors, can threaten spinal nerve or spinal cord function potentially causing nerve pain and sciatica, numbness, weakness or even paralysis of the arms and legs.
Neurosurgeons are expertly trained and prepared to manage spinal conditions for several reasons:
- Board certified spine neurosurgeons have completed a minimum of seven years of rigorous neurosurgery residency training.
- Neurosurgeons are trained to evaluate, examine, manage and operate on and around the nervous system- the most delicate and crucial element of human function and life. Such training not only encompasses the brain, spinal cord, and nerve roots but the surrounding supporting spine and intervertebral discs.
- Neurosurgical training is characterized by microsurgical precision, technical skill, and technological advancement.
- Neurosurgeons are trained in the skill sets of microsurgery, minimally invasive surgery, neural protection, and image guidance.
- Neurosurgeons receive both training and education in full spectrum of spinal surgery during residency.
- Neurosurgeons are expertly qualified to operate on the spine and intervertebral discs structures in order to safely protect, decompress, and repair the spinal nerves and spinal cord.
- Neurosurgical training and expertise encompasses not just microsurgical decompression of the spinal cord or nerve roots but surgical treatment of all spinal conditions including intradural spinal pathology, dural injury and spinal fluid leaks or other adverse events that may be encountered during or after spinal surgery.
- In addition, spine neurosurgeons are also trained in the surgical management of other conditions that involve the spine that may cause pain, deformity, or threaten neurological function such as scoliosis, kyphosis, spondylolisthesis, degeneration, trauma, and instability. These conditions may require spinal correction, reconstruction, instrumentation, fusion, and stabilization, all of which are expertly managed by a trained spinal neurosurgeon.