Neurosurgeons are medical physicians who provide services for the diagnosis and surgical treatment of central and nervous system problems. They include disorders including degenerative diseases of the spine, infections of the brain, trauma, tumors, vascular disorders among others. Many people consider neurosurgeons as brain surgeons. Surely, they operate on the brain, but they actually spend nearly 70 percent of their time helping patients with spine and peripheral nerve problems, providing surgical and non-surgical care.
Neurosurgeons are exclusively trained to perform procedures on the entire spine, including the spine and the inside lining of the spinal canal. With the spine encasing the spinal cord and nerves, many patients decide to take the extra measure of safety when undergoing spine treatment and choose a neurosurgeon.
– Neurosurgeons complete more spinal surgery training than most other specialty.
– Neurosurgeons are proficient in treating diseases of the spine over the course of a 7-year residency.
– Neurosurgeons are the only physicians who treat the complete spine including the spinal cord.
– Neurosurgeons spend about 80 percent of their time treating spine problems.
What is the difference between a neurosurgeon and orthopedic surgeon?
Board certified orthopedic spine surgeons, and neurosurgeons are equally qualified. However, the main difference is in the training. A Neurosurgeon is trained to treat conditions of the brain and spine, while an orthopedic spine surgeon specialises in treating the spine. In both specialties however, the surgeons may subspecialize, as in the case of surgeons who concentrate on pediatrics, cervical spine, lumbar spine, hand and wrist surgery, cosmetic surgery, or in other areas or procedures.
Some orthopedic surgeons focus their practice solely on spine surgery, some on other kinds of joints (e.g. hips, knees, shoulders), and some split their practice among two or more areas.
Both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons may complete fellowship training to work on most types of spine surgery, but there are a few types of spine surgery in which one specialty tends to be more qualified than the other, such as:
– Previously, orthopedic surgeons often tended to be better qualified to work on spinal deformity surgery, such as scoliosis, other types of spinal deformity. Today many neurosurgeons have been proficient in deformity surgery.
– Neurosurgeons tend to be more qualified to perform intradural surgery (surgery inside of the dura in the spinal cord), which include thecal sac tumors.
Why Choose a Neurosurgeon?
Typically, most neurosurgeons spend about 80 percent of their time treating spine disorders. All neurosurgeons in the United States are trained to diagnose and treat (surgically and non-surgically) disorders of the spine during a six to eight-year residency program. For those who go on to complete a post-graduate Spine Fellowship (Like a number of those listed on our website), they undergo focused and intense training on the spine for an additional one to two years. Neurosurgeons are exclusively trained to perform procedures on the entire spine, including the spinal cord. Many patients decide to take the extra measure of safety when undergoing spine treatment and choose a neurosurgeon.
For more information, or to schedule with a top Board Certified Neurosurgeon in Virginia visit http://www.virginiasurgeons.org.