When Should You Schedule a Consultation with a Neurosurgeon?

Your nervous system connects your brain to the rest of your body, controlling nearly every element of wellness. When you suffer pain or disability affecting your brain, spine, or nervous system, it can be scary.

A neurosurgeon specializes in diagnosing and treating health conditions affecting the whole nervous system, from your brain to the peripheral nerves in the tips of your toes. Complex neurological conditions like brain and spine tumors and chronic pain that doesn’t go away with other treatments often need the expertise of a neurosurgeon.

Ripul Panchal, DO, FACOS, FACS and our team at American Neuro Spine Institute’s offices in Plane and Frisco, Texas, have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating neurologic conditions with both surgery and less invasive methods.

But finding a treatment plan that’s right for you isn’t always easy. When you have spine pain or another nervous system condition that significantly impacts your quality of life, we may be able to help. Read on to find out when it’s time to schedule a consultation with a neurosurgeon.

At the recommendation of your primary care doctor

Many people face spinal pain at one time or another. In fact, an estimated 80% of adults will have low back pain in their lifetimes. But when you start experiencing back or neck pain, you’ll generally visit your primary care doctor first.

Your primary care doctor performs a physical exam and may recommend additional testing, such as an MRI or CAT scan. Most cases of acute pain resolve on their own with rest, and your primary care doctor is capable of managing mild to moderate pain.

But severe, ongoing pain could mean it’s time to schedule a consultation with a neurosurgeon. If you feel like treatment isn’t resolving your pain, or your practitioner has exhausted their recommendations, talk to them about getting a referral for care.

If you have a complex nervous system condition

Your primary care team is trained in diagnosing many common conditions, but some nervous system conditions require the care of an expert in the field of neurosurgery. A few complex conditions that our team at American Neuro Spine Institute treats include tumors, trauma, and congenital disability.

Dr. Panchal can diagnose and treat a range of brain and spine tumors. Our team performs a thorough assessment of your condition before recommending a tumor treatment plan, which may include surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.

Injury or other trauma to the head, neck, or spine can have lasting repercussions throughout a person’s life. The team assesses and cares for patients affected by aneurysms and strokes.

Back surgery is a common treatment for many pain conditions, but failed back surgery syndrome {FBSS} can cause back or leg pain even after the surgery. FBSS is a complex condition that may require a neurosurgeon’s care. If you still have pain after back surgery, Dr. Panchal may recommend revision surgery to improve your results.

When you’ve exhausted conservative treatment options

Chronic back pain is a leading cause of disability. But diagnosing and effectively treating back pain can be challenging. As a neurosurgeon, Dr. Panchal understands the nuances of the nervous system and pain.

A few of the most common causes of chronic pain include herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and sciatica. Conservative treatment methods like chiropractic care or physical therapy may not be effective in severe cases, while prescription medications for long-term pain management can pose the threat of addiction.

In these instances, consulting a neurosurgeon can give you the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about your care. Surgery to treat your pain condition could outweigh the risks of continuing with less effective treatments.

Whether you’ve been referred by your primary care doctor or you’re wondering if there’s another option to relieve your chronic pain, talk to our team to find out if a consultation at American Neuro Spine Institute could be the right next step for you. Call the office nearest you or book an appointment online.

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