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Last reviewed: 23.02.2020

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A neurosurgeon is a medical specialist associated with neurosurgery - a field of surgery that deals with the treatment of pathologies and diseases of the human nervous system in an operative way.

The term originated from the ancient Greek language and translates as: "neuron" - the nerve, "cheir" - the hand, "ergon" - "perform some action".

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Who is a neurosurgeon?

The question "Who is a neurosurgeon?" Can be answered briefly: this is a specialist in the surgical profile, performing diagnostics and surgical treatment of various CNS diseases. Such ailments include complications resulting from craniocerebral trauma, spine injury, birth defects, encephalopathy, neurooncology, and the like. Doctors-neurosurgeons accept patients in neurosurgical departments of large clinics and specialized centers, both public and private.


The duties of a neurosurgeon include counseling and qualitative examination of patients; the qualified implementation of surgical operations, as well as the appointment of patients with optimal therapeutic treatment in the pre- and post-operation period. The professional qualities of a neurosurgeon are competence, responsibility and deep knowledge of human physiology and anatomy, including the features of the structure and functioning of various organs of the central nervous system.

The present specialist in neurosurgery should be able to accurately diagnose various pathologies, taking into account complaints of patients, symptoms of the disease, as well as the results of tests and analyzes (puncture analysis, myelography, tomography, etc.). Neurosurgeons perform complex surgical operations that require deep knowledge in the field of surgery and sanitary and hygienic standards.

When should I contact a neurosurgeon?

The neurosurgeon deals with diseases of the nervous system of the person, requiring an operative intervention to achieve the main goal - a successful cure. Often patients turn to a doctor when the disease has a pronounced character and a neglected form. In such cases, treatment is much more difficult, and sometimes impossible, when it comes to malignant brain tumors. That is why it is so important to determine the disease at the initial stage in order to avoid serious problems and all sorts of complications.

When should I contact a neurosurgeon? First of all, when observing the symptoms that signal the development of the disease. In particular, the consultation of a neurosurgeon is necessary in cases when: 

  • a person has symptoms of an intervertebral hernia: 
  • numbness of fingers or pain in the hand, combined with fluctuations in blood pressure and attacks of dizziness (with hernias in the cervical region); 
  • numbness of the toes, pain in the lumbar region, which is permanent in nature, as well as leg pain localized in the feet or lower leg, less often in the hip (with a hernia in the lumbar region); 
  • painful sensations of a permanent nature in the sternum, most often in people working in forced positions (with a hernia in the thoracic region); 
  • the patient has a craniocerebral injury, the symptoms of which are: nausea, severe headache, fainting, dizziness and tinnitus, difficulty in perceiving information, as well as impaired coordination of movements and other signs. In such cases, a person needs urgent hospitalization in the hospital department of neurosurgery or neurology; 
  • a person has congenital pathologies in the development of the skull or brain, as well as the work of the nervous system; 
  • There are various kinds of symptoms that are associated with CNS disorders, most often occurring suddenly, in the form of paroxysmal manifestations (loss of consciousness, severe headaches, speech disorders, coordination, etc.).

Often a consultation with a neurosurgeon is prescribed by other medical specialists to identify and determine the severity of craniocerebral trauma, tumors of the nervous system, the appointment of rational treatment for congenital malformations of the central nervous system, as well as for the diagnosis of other diseases associated with impaired brain function. Urgent intervention of a neurosurgeon is necessary in cases when the patient has chopped, cut, gunshot, chopped and other wounds with damage to the structures of the nervous system.

What tests should I take when I contact a neurosurgeon?

A neurosurgeon, when taking a patient, first of all conducts a survey to determine the degree of development of a disease. Having carefully listened to the patient's complaints, the doctor performs a general examination, which includes checking the volume of movements in the muscles and joints, skin sensitivity, normal and pathological reflexes, oculomotor reactions. Also carried out so-called. "Coordination tests" (for example, the patient must touch his fingertip with the closed eyes to the tip of the nose).

What tests should I take when I contact a neurosurgeon? Most often, the patient is assigned blood and urine tests (general and biochemical type of study, including determination of urea, total protein, sodium, chloride, bilirubin, potassium, AsAT and ALT, etc.). In the preoperative period, the patient must also pass a blood test to determine her group and coagulogram (the state of the blood coagulation system). In addition, the neurosurgeon may require the results of the patient's analyzes for the time of blood coagulation, the prothrombin index, activated partial thromboplastin time, prothrombin time (PT) and (PT) +, fibrinogen.

Having carefully studied the results of the tests, the neurosurgeon can objectively assess the patient's condition, accurately diagnose the disease and its severity, and also think out the most rational treatment package or prescribe the date of the forthcoming surgical operation.

What methods of diagnostics does the neurosurgeon use?

The neurosurgeon assigns to the patient a whole complex of laboratory tests, tests and medical studies necessary for the accurate diagnosis of the disease of the nervous system and the appointment of effective treatment.

What methods of diagnostics does the neurosurgeon use? It is possible to note a whole range of methods aimed at studying the state of CNS organs:

  • The method of computed tomography (CT, CT) - is aimed at diagnosing many types of brain damage: various tumors, atrophy of the cerebral cortex, hydrocephalus, volumetric processes. 
  • Lumbar puncture (puncture of the spinal canal) is a method that allows to determine the indices of intracranial pressure and the character of cerebrospinal fluid (structure, color, protein, sugar, leukocytes and erythrocytes, various bacteria). 
  • The method of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - is used to obtain high-quality images of all nerve structures for the purpose of accurate diagnosis. 
  • Echoencephalography is a method used to determine the displacement of brain structures in hydrocephalus and hematomas. 
  • Electroencephalography - is used to record the electrical activity of the brain to detect brain damage in encephalopathies, epilepsy, and sleep disorders. 
  • Duplex scanning is a method aimed at diagnosing vascular disorders. 
  • The method of positron emission tomography is used in neurosurgery to obtain important information for the diagnosis of lesions in strokes, intracranial hematomas, brain tumors, epilepsy. 
  • Cerebral angiography is an x-ray method, which uses contrast agents to obtain accurate images of the brain vessels. 
  • Myelography - the method of X-ray examination of the spinal cord with the use of contrast agents. Helps to diagnose herniated disc, the presence of a tumor of the spinal canal, etc. 
  • The method of electromyography (EMG) - is aimed at diagnosing lesions of the nervous and muscular system. 
  • Ultrasound and Doppler vascular scanning - used by neurosurgeons for the diagnosis of stenosis, as well as stratification and blockage of the arteries.

What does a neurosurgeon do?

A neurosurgeon is a doctor whose specialization is the surgical treatment of various neurological diseases and pathologies of the central nervous system of man.

What does a neurosurgeon do? First of all, the diagnosis and subsequent surgical treatment of diseases associated with the nervous system. He performs surgical operations on the spinal cord and brain, spine, and other organs associated with pathological disorders in the work of the nervous system. Usually neurosurgeons work in close cooperation with neuropathologists. In the postoperative period, the neurosurgeon's duties include careful monitoring of the patient, the adoption of effective rehabilitation measures, and, if necessary, the appointment of an additional examination and therapeutic treatment.

The most common neurosurgeons in practice are pathological conditions such as craniocerebral and vertebral traumas of various etiologies, concussion (as well as bruising, compression, damage, hernia) of the brain or spinal cord, cerebral circulatory disorders, various vascular anomalies and oncological diseases of the nervous system and others. Often, neurosurgeon patients are people with congenital problems, in particular, disorders in the development of the skull and brain.

What diseases are treated by a neurosurgeon?

The neurosurgeon performs surgical operations and prescribes treatment for patients who have various disorders in the work of the nervous system. The quality of his work depends on a person's life, especially when it comes to complex cases that require immediate surgical intervention.

What diseases are treated by a neurosurgeon? The work of this specialist is to diagnose and prescribe the optimal treatment for various diseases of the nervous system, as well as organs such as the skull, spine and brain (dorsal, head). Among the pathologies this doctor deals with, it is necessary to note birth defects in the development of the cranium and brain, spinal cord and spine diseases, craniocerebral injuries and trauma, oncological diseases of the nervous system, as well as pain syndromes that are associated with malfunctions in the work of the central and peripheral types of the nervous system.

Exclusively neurosurgeons treat such injuries and diseases as intracranial hematomas and fractures of the skull bones, trigeminal neuralgia, acromegaly, subdural empyema, plexopathy, intracranial hemorrhage, eye melanomas, neurofibromatosis, spinal cord compression. The list can be continued with such ailments as vestibular neuronitis, pituitary tumors, postural dizziness, Meniere's disease, malignant brain tumors, neuroblastomas and retinoblastomas in adults and children. Among the most common diseases, which are treated by a neurosurgeon, it is possible to note osteochondrosis of the spine, concussion, cerebrovascular disorders, cerebral vascular anomalies, intracranial hemorrhages, as well as spinal hematomas and ischemic strokes.

When observing symptoms that directly or indirectly indicate a violation of the central nervous system, a person should urgently consult a neurosurgeon. Such symptoms, in particular, include frequent dizziness and fainting, sudden seizures and manifestations of hypertension, headaches, as well as numbness and pain in the extremities or sternum.

Advices of a neurosurgeon physician

A neurosurgeon must not only determine the disease, prescribe the necessary treatment and monitor the rehabilitation of patients in the post-operation period, but also take measures aimed at preventing possible consequences after surgery. In particular, the neurosurgeon physician should advise patients about how to behave after the operation, what regime of the day and lifestyle should be chosen, what medicines to consume, etc.

The advice of a neurosurgeon's doctor is advisory in nature and is aimed at preventing various injuries. For example, athletes and people leading an active lifestyle should take into account the following recommendations: 

  • Preparation for physical exertion. To begin with, you need to decide which groups of muscles are planned for use in training. In regard to the intensity and the permissible duration of muscle loads, it is necessary to consult a doctor. 
  • Stretching muscles before training. Before performing intensive exercises, joints and muscles are recommended to "warm up". After a heavy load, you need to give the body a breather. 
  • Use of sports equipment. In accordance with the chosen sport, it is necessary to use sports shoes and clothes to avoid serious injuries. 
  • Technique of doing exercises. Do not force your body. An incorrect position of the feet or a sporting position can lead to injury. It is best to ask for advice to the coach. It is not recommended to start physical exertion if the body does not recover after the disease or injury.

The neurosurgeon recommends that athletes and physically active people relax and relax as needed, and exercise only after the normalization of well-being. Undoubtedly, the doctor's main advice is full self-control of a person's way of life, aimed at excluding the risks of getting all kinds of injuries and development of CNS diseases. When observing any symptoms related to disorders in the brain and pathologies of the nervous system, it is necessary to contact the neurosurgeon as soon as possible, because your life depends on this factor!

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