Debunking Four of the Most Common Misconceptions About Neurosurgery

Neurosurgeons are highly trained medical professionals specializing in the brain, spine and peripheral nervous system. The work they perform is regarded as some of the most complex within the medical field, in part because of how specialized and intricate these parts of the body are. Many symptoms related to neurosurgery, such as back pain, can be very complex – and it doesn’t help that there are many misconceptions surrounding the specialty.

At Altair Health, we recognize the importance of patient education, which is why we are tackling some of the most common myths about neurosurgery and setting the record straight.

Misconception: You should only go to a neurosurgeon as a last resort or when surgery is needed.
Neurosurgeons are not simply surgeons. Their role in diagnosing and treating disease is far more extensive than performing surgery. Neurosurgeons are frequently called to consult with other specialists due to their extensive knowledge. They are the most qualified to set up the right treatment plan for you with surgery as the last resort. Contrary to this common misconception, a neurosurgeon is the first specialist you should see to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

Misconception: You must travel to big cities to find quality specialists.
Building on the 60+ year legacy of Atlantic NeuroSurgical Specialists, Altair Health is one of the nation’s leading neurosurgical practices. Our sub-specialized practice consists of top board-certified neurosurgeons, including fellowship-trained spine specialists and fellowship-trained endovascular surgeons, as well as neurosurgeons who practice at the nationally recognized Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center. With access to state-of-the-art equipment and the best treatment options available, patients no longer have to travel to big cities to get the advanced care they’re looking for.

Misconception: Neurosurgeons are mostly brain surgeons.
It is a common misconception that neurosurgery focuses only on conditions associated with the brain; however, more than 70 percent of neurosurgical procedures involve treating spine and spinal cord health conditions. Neurosurgeons have the advanced training needed to understand the intricate relationship between the spine and the complex network of nerves that make up the spinal cord.

Misconception: All doctors performing spine surgeries are surgeons.
Most patients would be surprised to know their doctor performing spine surgery may have not even undergone a surgical training program. Many doctors advertising spine surgery and quick fixes are not surgeons. This is one of the reasons failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) is becoming increasingly more common. Don’t trust the surgical management of your spine and spinal cord to a doctor with no formal surgical training, who may have just attended an industry sponsored weekend course on some new technique. Neurosurgical residencies are six- to seven-year programs with specialized training in surgical techniques and spine surgery.

Do you have other questions about neurosurgery?

Please contact us to learn more about the latest advances in neurosurgery and spine, brain and neurovascular care.