Our neurosurgeons have extensive training to surgically treat patients with a variety of acute, subacute and chronic conditions. Some of these conditions may form as an individual ages and can cause pain or weakness in the neck or back that affects daily activities. Some conditions, such as tumors, may cause sudden and unfamiliar symptoms. And other conditions may be the result of trauma and will require immediate surgical intervention.

Here are some of the disorders and medical conditions of the brain, neck and spine that our neurosurgeons at UM BWMC treat:

Conditions of the Brain

  • Bleeding can occur in the brain when an artery in the brain bursts and causes localized bleeding in the surrounding tissues. This is also called a brain hemorrhage, and it kills brain cells, so it’s imperative to treat immediately. Head trauma/injury is a common cause of bleeding in the brain.
  • Blood clots can form in the brain as a result of head trauma, traveling clots from other parts of the body, hardening or narrowing of the arteries, or inflammation of a superficial vein. A blood clot in the brain can cause an Ischemic stroke, a stroke caused when an artery to the brain becomes blocked and starves the brain of oxygen and nutrients.
  • Hydrocephalus, also called water on the brain, is a build-up of fluid in the cavities deep within the brain. Normally this cerebrospinal fluid cushions the brain; however excess fluid puts harmful pressure on the brain. Hydrocephalus can be present at birth due to genetic or fetal development problems, or it can form at a later age due to trauma, stroke, infection, tumors or brain bleeds.
  • Infection, inflammation and pressure swelling can occur in the brain as a result of other injuries or disorders.

Spinal Disorders

back pain
  • Spina bifida is a birth defect where there is incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord. Surgery can close the defect.
  • Myelomeningocele neck is a birth defect in which the backbone and spinal canal do not close before birth. The condition is a type of spina bifida.
  • A herniated disc is a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (discs) that rest between your spine vertebrae. A spinal disc has a soft center with a tough exterior, and sometimes the soft center can push through a crack in the exterior, causing irritation to nearby nerves and pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg.
  • Degenerative disease can include several spinal disorders, including cervical spondylosis (age-related deterioration affecting the spinal discs in your neck) and lumbar spondylosis (occurring in the lower spine). Spinal stenosis is also a common condition caused by age-related wear and tear and occurs in the neck and lower back. It is the narrowing of spaces in the backbone, and it can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.