Who is involved in my care?

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 fibers).


Physician Extenders

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.



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