Below is a list of physicians,
physician extenders and personnel that may be involved
in your treatment.
Neurosurgeon: A physician who
has completed a residency in neurosurgery. Although training
and specialty interests may vary, most neurosurgeons are well
versed in treating disorders of the brain, spine, and peripheral
nerves. Some neurosurgeons may have subspecialty interests,
and have a devoted practice in areas of spine, brain tumors,
skull base surgery, radiosurgery, epilepsy, endovascular treatment
of aneurysms and AVM's, and pain management. Your neurosurgeon
will coordinate your care relative to your neurosurgical problem,
and may have consultants managing areas of your care not related
to your surgical problem.
Family Doctor or Internist:
Physicians who manage the majority of your medical care outside
of the specialized area for which your neurosurgeon was consulted.
Your medical needs which include care of diabetes, high blood
pressure, heart disease, emphysema and other medical problems
will be handled by these specialists.
Neurologist: At times, your
neurosurgeon may consult a neurologist. This is a physician
who has done residency training in neurology. A neurologist
takes care of non surgically treated diseases affecting the
nervous system, and sometimes helps with the management of
surgical disease as well. Typical illnesses treated by a neurologist
include seizures, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's
disease, peripheral neuropathy, and other degenerative disorders
of the nervous system. A neurologist may also perform EMG/NCV
studies to evaluate function of nerves. They also perform
EEG exams to evaluate brain wave function. SSEP (somatosensory
evoked potential studies) evaluate the functioning of the
spinal cord, and BAER (brainstem auditory evoked responses)
monitor the functioning of the brainstem.
Physiatrist: A physician who
is trained in rehabilitation medicine. This physician specialized
in assessing what therapeutic modalities might be beneficial
in maximizing a patient's potential. These might include various
forms of therapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
(TENS) for pain, pool therapy and other techniques. A physiatrist
may also perform EMG/NCV studies to evaluate the electrical
functioning of nerves.
Chiropractor: A chiropractor
manages mechanical pain of the spine by physical manipulation
as well as other stretching and massage techniques. The chiropractor
treats both neck and low back pain.
Radiologist: The radiologist
is a behind the scenes physician. Your MRI, CT and plain x
rays are read by the radiologist, who is a physician who has
completed a residency in radiology. At times, the radiologist
my take additional fellowship training in neuroradiology,
to give themselves additional expertise in this area.
Pain specialist: A physician
who trains in and specialized in pain management. This physician
may use medications, injections (epidural as well as trigger
point and sacroiliac injections), and IDET procedures (heating
up the disc space to tighten the ligaments and destroy pain
Nurses: Nurses are trained
in the treatment of patients and the administration of medications.
They work in a close relationship with a physician to follow
through on treatment plans, and are extremely skilled at answering
questions that patients may have. They may refill prescriptions
and order tests for the physician.
Nurse Practitioners: Nurses
who have undergone additional training to obtain an advanced
degree in nursing. They may implement patient care on their
own, under the guidance of a physician. They may prescribe
medications, and perform certain minor procedures under the
guidance of a physician.
Physician's Assistant: A physician's
assistant has undergone training to enable then to deliver
patient care as well as assist in surgery, under the guidance
of a physician. In may ways, their roles may be comparable
to those of a nurse practitioner. Other Medical
Physical therapists: Work in
rehabilitating patients who have suffered injuries or undergone
surgeries, to maximize their recovery. These therapists often
help with limb strengthening and joint mobility.
Occupational therapists: Help
patients who have suffered injuries to their bodies or brain
injuries, to achieve the best functional recovery possible.
They may help with cognitive processing, and arrange for a
smooth transition from the hospital environment to the home
or work place.
Speech therapists: These specialists
help to maximize the verbal speech and comprehension skills
when they have been injures due to brain injury either as
a result of trauma, stroke, surgery or disease.