An introduction to nerve pain and neurosurgeons
Chronic pain can be present for many different reasons. It can be due to orthopedic or neurological reasons. It is a little hard to decipher on your own. So if you’ve got pain, don’t keep it to yourself, visit a physician and try to figure out its origin to get treatment for it. Figuring out the cause of pain is the first step in relieving it.
If the primary cause of the pain turns out to be a pulled muscle or another intermuscular tissue, then the primary physician to consult would be an orthopedic specialist, such as an orthopedic spine surgeon. But if the pain is caused due to a pinched or damaged nerve, its treatment becomes much more complex and you have to consult an appropriate neurosurgeon for treatment. Any treatment for pain due to nerve damage has to be overseen by a neurosurgeon.
Dr. Arun Saroha is one of the best neurosurgeons in Gurgaon. He is an expert, talented and experienced neurosurgeon who is well versed in both accurately diagnosing and treating different kinds of neural or spinal issues. His primary practice is as a neurosurgeon in Max Gurgaon. He believes that for a quick and speedy recovery from nerve pain, the first step has to be a quick and accurate diagnosis. This, along with helping to treat and relieve the patient’s pain, also spares the patient the agony of not knowing the precise cause of the pain.
But first, let us take a brief look at what nerve pain is and what the differences between a neurosurgeon and an orthopedic surgeon are.
What is nerve pain?
Nerves are like a bunch of electric wires, running from our sensory organs to the brain, transmitting nerve signals, which include all sensations including pain. Even a small irritation to the nerve, for example, from a pinched nerve can result in severe, ongoing intense pain for the person.
Pinched nerves are most often caused by:-
- Repetitive motion
- Inflammation or pressure on a nerve root
Pinched nerves can result in pain in the neck or lower back, or pain that is radiating from the neck into the shoulder and arm.
To distinguish nerve pain from other types of pain, you have to know some of the defining characteristics of nerve pain, which are:-
- The pain is burning with tingling, sharp, pins and needles sensation
- Other times nerve pain may cause numbness.
- The pain is chronic and occurs in long bouts, which often feel endless
- The pain radiates down arms and hands or legs and feet
What is the difference between a neurosurgeon and an orthopedic surgeon?
While both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons are well trained and qualified in spinal surgery, the biggest difference between them lies in the duration, extent, and the focus of the training that they are receiving. Some of the biggest differences between orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons are:-
After they have completed their medical graduation and obtained a degree, orthopedic surgeons have to complete a five-year surgical residency that is focused on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. Orthopedists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of bone and joint disorders, such as:-
- Spinal disorders
- Sports injuries
- Bone tumors
- Total joint replacement
Neurosurgeons are the primary physicians for pain caused by nerve damage. After they have earned their medical degree, neurosurgeons have to complete a seven-year residency that is focused on the diagnosis and surgical treatment of neurological conditions. Getting and completing a neurosurgery residency is much more difficult than an orthopedic residency, firstly because it is much more competitive, and secondly because of the complexity of the nervous system. We are still learning about the complex and intricate structure and functioning of the nervous system, and developing advanced technologies for neurosurgical operations. Neurosurgeons are skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders involving the following organs-
- Spine and spinal cord
- Intracranial and intraspinal blood vessels
What is the most common treatment for pain caused due to damaged nerves?
Sadly, nerves are one of the very few body tissues that do not repair or regenerate themselves at all. Once a nerve is damaged, it stops functioning completely. That is why when we lose sensation in an organ or part of the body due to nervous tissue damage, the sensation can never be regained and that part of the body becomes paralyzed for life.
This is why neurosurgery is often treated as the last option of treatment, often considered only in cases where the patient has tried other approaches for treatment, such as physical therapy, medication, acupuncture, etc., and has not seen any significant improvement or relief in their chronic pain.
Some of the common avenues for neurosurgical treatment are:-
- Surgical treatment for chronic pain is performed only when strictly necessary, by decompressing, i.e. relieving the pressure on the compressed nerves in the neck.
- When the symptoms are being caused by a pinched nerve, the neurosurgeon removes the pieces of bone or soft tissue, such as a herniated disc, or both, to relieve the pressure on the nerves by creating more space around them for exiting the spinal canal.
The three kind of surgical procedures most commonly performed by neurosurgeons to treat a pinched nerve in the neck are:-
- Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)
- Artificial disc replacement (ADR)
- Posterior cervical laminoforaminotomy
Any persistent pain or numbness in the lower back, especially caused due to a neural disorder, lies under the expertise of a neurosurgeon, who can perform the treatment, initially by medicine and if that does not work, surgery. Dr. Arun Saroha is one such eminent and expert neurosurgeon, an expert in the treatment of neural problems, and eager to help you with your problems, which makes him one of the best neurosurgeons in Gurgaon.