Neurology is a medical specialty that is associated with the diagnosis, surgical treatment and rehabilitation of the disorders which affect the nervous system. The nervous system includes brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system and extra-cranial cerebro-vascular system. This deals with the treatment of congenital conditions, trauma, and infection related or degenerative conditions.
Here are a few examples:
· Congenital conditions: Hydrocephaus
· Infection cases: Meningitis
· Trauma: head or spinal trauma that may cause internal bleeding
· Degenerative diseases: Parkinson’s disease
Neurosurgery is divided into different categories and a number of specialized branches.
General neurosurgery includes most of the conditions that are associated with neurological trauma or emergencies. One example is intracranial hemorrhage.
Vascular and endovascular neurosurgery
This kind of surgery is generally associated with the diagnosis and treatment of aneurysms, carotid stenosis, strokes, vasospasms and spinal malformations. Many times, surgical treatments of these conditions are conducted using minimally invasive techniques such as angioplasty or embolization.
Spine surgery includes the treatment of disorders affecting the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spines. The most common conditions include arthritis in the spinal discs, spinal cord compression that may be caused by trauma or spondylosis. The symptoms seen are usually balanced deficiency or numbness and tickling in the hands and feet.
Peripheral nerve surgery
The most common peripheral nerve surgeries include carpal tunnel decompression that treats the carpel tunnel syndrome as well as the peripheral nerve transposition. This branch of neurosurgery also treats a number of nerve entrapment conditions:
Stereotactic, functional, and epilepsy neurosurgery are some of the other important parts of neurosurgery.
Apart from these specialized branches, neurosurgery also includes various surgical methods for diagnosing and treating neurosurgery conditions. In the recent years, more modern alternatives have emerged and surgeons prefer using them as they are less invasive and effective. The conventional methods require open surgery where the skull is open to access the brain. The newly developed methods allow specialists to surgically treat the neurological conditions through smaller openings or minimal invasion by making use of microscopes, endoscopes, and such other methods. Open surgeries are reserved for traumatic cases and emergencies.
Microsurgery – makes use of microscopic technology so that the surgeons can treat affected areas of the brain through smaller openings. The treatment area, in this case, is magnified. Today’s advanced equipment allows surgeons to perform complex procedures through this type of surgery. It is overall less invasive and convenient for the surgeon too.
Endoscopic neurosurgery – is widely used in the treatment of pituitary tumors, cerebrospinal fluid leakage, hydrocephalus, colloid cysts and many others.
Neuroradiology – is also a part of modern neurosurgery and plays a huge role in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological conditions. Some of the neuroradiology techniques include:
· Computer-assisted imaging – more commonly known as a CT scan.
· Magnetic resonance imaging which is popularly known as MRI.
· Positron emission tomography or PET.
· Magnetoencephalography or MEG
· Stereotactic radiosurgery
A number of modern techniques, procedures and equipment have emerged, making neurology surgery more advanced and surgeons are better equipped to provide patients with accurate care.
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