Neurologist or Neurosurgeon?

What is the difference? We are really two halves of the same orange! Both neurologists and neurosurgeons manage problems in the nervous system, but each of us has areas of expertise and tools at hand that the other does not! Neurology is a medical specialty. These doctors (neurologists) have special training in the evaluation of conditions not managed with surgery. Common conditions seen in a neurology practice include headaches, peripheral neuropathy, seizures or epilepsy. Chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and dementia are often diagnosed and managed by neurologists as well. Research in the neurology world has led to great strides in the medical management of these diseases. Emergencies such as stroke are also managed by neurologists. Neurosurgery addresses problems in the brainspine and peripheral nervesthat could require surgical intervention. Most of what neurosurgeons do is not surgical, but we are continually evaluating the best treatment option that might include an operation. Conditions seen in a neurosurgery office include disc problems in the neck or back, compression fractures, brain or spine trauma (including concussion), brain or spine tumors, brain hemorrhages, carpal tunnel syndrome or ulnar neuropathy. Hydrocephalus is a common diagnosis seen in a neurosurgeon’s office, and we perform CSF shunting operations to treat this problem. Pituitary tumors are managed here, and we also treat certain conditions with a specialized form of radiation called stereotactic radiosurgery. How do you decide where to start? Often your medical doctor can help guide you, but if you wonder whether or not to start with a neurosurgeon, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to set you in the right direction.