A local neurosurgeon is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the brain, spine and nerves. A local neurosurgeon is different from a local neurologist in that a neurosurgeon can perform surgery on the brain and spinal cord. A local neurosurgeon may treat patients with a variety of conditions including headache disorders, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, brain infections, concussions and Lou Gehrig's disease. They may also help patients who are recovering from brain or spinal surgery.
Lumbar Back Surgery
One of the surgeries a local neurosurgeon may perform is a lumbar back surgery. Back pain is a common complaint among people of all ages. Back pain can be cervical (neck pain), thoracic (middle back pain), lumbar (lower back pain) or tailbone or sacral (coccydynia). Lumbar back pain is the most common type.
If you experience lumbar back pain, your symptoms might include:
• Shooting or stabbing pain
• Pain that radiates down the leg
• Muscle aches
• Pain that worsens when you walk, lift something, bend or stand and/or improves when you recline
In most cases, back pain will resolve on its own with treatment at home and over-the-counter medications. However, lumbar decompression surgery might be necessary if non-surgical treatments don’t help.
Lumbar back surgery may be used to treat:
• A slipped disc and sciatica, which occurs when a spinal disc presses down on a nerve
• Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of a section of the spinal column that puts pressure on nerves
• Spinal injuries including a fracture
If you and your orthopedic surgeon decide that lumbar decompression surgery is right for you, he or she will perform one or more of these procedures:
• Discectomy to remove part of a damaged disc to relieve pressure on a nerve
• Laminectomy to remove bone from one of your vertebrae to relieve pressure on a nerve
• Spinal fusion to join together two or more vertebrae with a section of bone to strengthen the spine
Following your lumbar spine surgery, you’ll leave the hospital within one to four days. You’ll start walking in the hospital, and will be able to return to work after four to six weeks with some restrictions. While the success rate of lumbar decompression surgery is high, there are risks, including infection, a blood clot in a leg vein and damage to the spinal nerves or cord. Doing back exercises can help.