Conditions We Treat
The Division of Neurosurgery offers state of the art surgical management of disorders of the nervous system including:
When a person has an abnormality of the pituitary gland, it produces either too much or too little of a particular hormone, which can lead to a number of other disorders. In many an instance, the pituitary gland may show an abnormal appearance but may be a normal variation amongst people.
Astrocytes cells are a diverse group of cells which play many roles in the brain, but particularly form the physical and physiological supportive system for the brain’s neurons. Astrocytomas are tumors that grow from these cells and make up almost 50% of childhood brain tumors, frequently occurring in children between 5-9 years of age.
Arachnoid cysts are fluid filled sacs or cavities that appear on the arachnoid membrane and can present in many locations on the brain and/or spinal cord. Majority of these cysts are discovered incidentally and do not merit surgical intervention but rarely may cause headaches or progressive enlargement of the head.
Brain Abscess/Subdural Empyema
Subdural empyema and brain abscess are serious infections of the brain where pus accumulates inside or around the brain, often as a consequence of sinusitis, ear infections, dental caries or even urine infections. These can result in severe headaches, drowsiness or seizures. An urgent intervention is often necessary. Hence a consultation or visit to the emergency room is recommended.
Please see Syringomyelia for further information.
When a baby has craniosynostosis, however, one or more of the bones of the skull are joined together by bone prematurely, which lead to problems depending on which, and how many sutures may have closed early.
Diabetes insipidus is a rare disorder characterized by extreme thirst and the passing of large amounts of dilute urine.
Childhood epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes an infant or a child to have repeated seizures over time. Some children may have difficulty in controlling the seizures in spite of being on multiple medications. These patients may be candidates for epilepsy surgery. All these patients should be evaluated in the multidisciplinary Epilepsy Clinic. After a thorough evaluation a surgical plan is formulated. The various surgeries include removal of involved brain or its destruction using a laser technology (Visualase®).
A Hamartoma is a benign, or noncancerous tumor. It is a mixture of normal tissues/cells that grow abnormally in the place where the tissue/cells normally are found.
Head and Spine Trauma
Head and spine trauma refer to injuries or accidents that affect an individual’s brain and/or spinal cord.
Hydrocephalus is primarily an excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain.
Inflammatory Brain or Spine Disease
Inflammations of the brain and spinal cord are usually caused by infections from bacteria, viruses or other germs. Others may be caused by genetic abnormalities.
When a child has a head circumference that is larger than normal (for the infant's gestational age, age, sex and race), the medical term is macrocephaly. Most often these children may have an accelerated growth in the first few months after delivery and often have a family history of macrocephaly. The head circumference stabilizes at 18-24 months. Other serious causes of a large head should be excluded.
Please see Myelomeningocele for further information.
When the sutures in the middle of the forehead of an infant close earlier than they should, it’s known as metopic synotosis. A triangular pointed skull is a noticeable sign of this condition.
Please see Spasticity and Movement Disorders for further information.
Moyamoya disease is a rare disease, frequently seen in children, that causes the blood vessels in the brain to narrow. There are many causes for this disease and treatment is tailored according to the severity of the disease.
A myelomeningocele is a bulge or sac of the fluid that surround the spinal cord.
Nervous System Disorders
Any condition that adversely affects the function of any part of the nervous system is called a nervous system disorder.
Neural Tube Defects
A neural tube defect is a birth defect that occurs very early in the development of a fetus, often during the first month of pregnancy, where the brain, spinal cord and spinal column do not develop normally. In some children there is an open defect at birth which needs to be repaired within 24 hours while others may have a skin covered swelling which can be repaired more electively.
Neurofibrosarcoma is a rare type of malignant cancer in children that develops in the cells of the sheath of the arms and legs, spreading along the nerves.
Optic Pathway Glioma
Glioma is a specific type of slow growing tumor that starts in one of the cells of the brain or spinal cord. When this tumor grows on or around the visual system it is known as an optic pathway glioma.
Peripheral Nerve Injuries
Please see Brachial Plexus Injuries for further information.
The peripheral nerves are the vast network of nerves that transmits messages from the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) to the rest of the body. When these nerves don’t function normally it is known as a peripheral neuropathy.
Pseudotumor cerebri is a condition characterized by headaches and visual disturbances without an underlying brain tumor. While it is most commonly seen in young adults, it may be seen in children also. The causes may include obesity, certain drugs amongst others. The treatment options include weight loss, medications and in some instances, optic nerve decompression or CSF diversion.
A seizure is a sudden abnormal burst of electrical activity in one or more parts of the brain that interrupt the normal brain signals and result in a wide variety of symptoms such as loss of conciousness and uncontrollable muscle spasms.
Spasticity and Contractures
Spasticity and contractures are conditions in which muscle imbalance across a joint leads to abnormal positioning and tightness. Spasticity refers to involuntary tightening or stiffening of muscles. The term contracture refers to abnormal positioning of a joint.
Please see Myelomeningocele for further information.
Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord is a group of nerves that run down the back of a person that carries messages from the brain to the rest of the body. Acute spinal cord injury in children is fairly uncommon, frequently occurs in adolescents/ young adults and are often male.
Syringomyelia is a rare chronic condition where fluid accumulates (syrinx) within the spinal cord. The most common cause of syringomyelia is Chiari malformation. Other conditions that may cause syringomyelia include spinal cord tumors, tethered spinal cord or shunt malfunction.
A tectal glioma ( from a type of glial cell that nourishes and supports other brain cells) is a slow growing, generally benign (non spreading), brain tumor in children 3-16 years of age, situated in the upper portion or roof of the brain stem ( this area of the brain controls important body functions like breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure).
Thalamic Astrocytoma and Hypothalamic Astrocytoma
An astrocytoma (a common type of glioma) is a form of brain cancer that starts in brain cells (astrocytes) that support and nourish other brain cells.
TM is a rare inflammatory disease of the spinal cord (frequently the middle or thoracic part of the cord) that damages the protective covering (myelin) of the nerves ( both for movement and sensation) that transmit information between the brain and the rest of the body.
The brain floats in the CSF fluid surrounding it, and the CSF circulates through the ventricular and the spaces around the brain and the spinal cord, constantly being produced and absorbed.
Ventriculomegaly is a congenital (before birth) condition in which the ventricles of a fetus/baby are abnormally large.