When dealing with issues of the spine, most patients initially seek care from a primary care physician or an emergency room physician. These doctors typically turn to spine doctors for help in the subsequent management of the patient’s condition.There are many potential causes of a patient’s pain, including both spinal and non-spinal etiologies. Neurosurgical spine specialists have the experience to initiate the appropriate diagnostic evaluation and begin a conservative treatment regimen. The accurate diagnosis of spinal conditions requires a comprehensive neurological examination, generally followed by imaging of the spine (such as x-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans), and may even involve more specialized tests such as electromyography, nerve conduction studies, or diagnostic injections.
Choose Only the Best Spine Surgeon for Your Procedure
It is imperative that the spine specialist who is performing the evaluation and providing treatment recommendations has deep expertise in the neurological examination, as well as the knowledge and training to order the correct tests and interpret the results. Neurosurgeons are uniquely qualified in these aspects of spine care.
Which is Better, Neurosurgeons or Spine Surgeon?
Initial conservative treatments for spinal disorders often include medication management, physical therapy, and sometimes therapeutic injections in and around the spine. Neurosurgeons are spine specialists who have cultivated a comprehensive team of medical professionals, including physical therapists, neurologists, and pain management doctors so that patients can obtain the care they need in a timely fashion.
What does a neurosurgeon do for back pain?
If patients do not achieve satisfactory improvement in their pain or neurological symptoms with non-surgical treatments, neurosurgeons are the spine specialists who are best-equipped with the next tier of treatment options, which often includes surgery. Neurosurgeons have comprehensive training in all major aspects of spine surgery and the ability to offer patients surgery targeted to their particular need. These operations may range from minimally invasive decompressions, to instrumented fusion operations, to motion-preserving non-fusion alternatives such as artificial disc replacement, and laminoplasty. Because neurosurgeons are uniquely trained in microscopic surgical techniques, which differentiates them from other spine surgeons (such as orthopedic surgeons), they are able to offer patients the full spectrum of surgical treatment options while minimizing the risk of potential surgical complications.In rare circumstances, a small number of patients do not respond well to conservative treatments and may not be good candidates for spinal surgery. Hope should not be lost for these patients. Neurosurgeons, in conjunction with other spine specialists, are equipped to investigate whether neuromodulation, sometimes referred to as spinal cord stimulation or DRG stimulation, may help a patient’s pain. Neuromodulation can be quite effective for certain chronic pain syndromes. Patients should speak with their spine specialist to learn whether they may be a candidate.Working with a neurosurgeon gives patients the confidence of having a spine specialist who is an expert in every phase of their care. Here at Virginia Neurosurgeons, all of our surgeons are members of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, an organization dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery in order to promote the highest quality of patient care. Click here to contact us for more information.