Neurosurgery

Colorado Springs Neurological Associates provides high quality and compassionate care when it comes to surgery for the brain, spine and peripheral nerves. We provide expertise in essentially all areas of brain and spinal disease including: tumors, vascular disorders, trauma and degenerative conditions.

We recognize that the thought of brain or spine surgery can cause significant anxiety and that is why we take time to create a thoughtful and unique plan for each patient. As neurosurgeons, the health of your brain and spinal cord is central to our decision making.

The neurosurgeons participate with QOD, a Quality Outcomes Database, whose primary purpose is to track quality of surgical care for the most common surgical procedures.

Please contact us directly for a consultation at 719-389-1138.

Procedures Performed by CSNA Surgeons

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
Anterior cervical disc arthroplasty (Cervical disc replacement)
Carpal tunnel release
Chiari surgery
Intrathecal catheter and pump placement
Lumbar fusion

Lumbar laminectomy
Lumbar microdiscectomy
Microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia
Minimally invasive lumbar fusion
Posterior cervical fusion
Posterior cervical foraminotomy
Resection of brain tumor
Resection of pituitary tumor

Spinal cord stimulator
Spinal deformity
Spinal fluid shunting
Spinal tumor resection
Stereotactic radiosurgery (CyberKnife)
Surgery for head trauma

Thoracic discectomy
Thoracic fusion
Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion
Ulnar nerve release
Vagal nerve stimulator

Conditions treated by CSNA Neurosurgeons

Benign brain tumors

A benign brain tumor is an abnormal mass of tissue in which cells grow and multiply. A benign brain tumor growth is not cancerous. This means that it does not spread to other parts of the body and typically does not invade nearby tissue. Examples of benign brain tumors include meningioma and schwannoma.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common problem affecting hand function, caused by compression of the median nerve at the wrist. It commonly occurs in patients performing repetitive movements.  It is formally diagnosed with a nerve test called an EMG/NCV.  Treatment includes activity modification and occasionally carpal tunnel release surgery.

Cervical disc herniation

Cervical disc herniation is a fragment of the disc nucleus that is pushed out of the annulus, into the spinal canal through a tear or rupture in the annulus in the cervical spine. Discs that become herniated usually are in an early stage of degeneration. The spinal canal has limited space, which is inadequate for the spinal nerve and the displaced herniated disc fragment. Due to this displacement, the disc presses on spinal nerves, often producing pain, which may be severe.

Cervical spinal stenosis

Cervical stenosis is similar to lumbar stenosis and not bulging discs, ligament overgrowth and bone spurs contribute to narrowing of the spinal canal. The spinal cord is located in this region of the spine and symptoms of spinal cord compression include motor and sensory dysfunction of the upper and lower extremities, including difficulty walking. In the case that the spinal cord was not compressed but in individual nerves compressed patient's experience a radiculopathy, nerve pain, into the shoulder or down the upper extremity. The Symptoms resulting from compression of the spinal cord is referred to as cervical myelopathy whereas nerve compression is referred to ask cervical radiculopathy. Routine management of cervical myelopathy included surgery whereas management of cervical radiculopathy include both surgical and nonsurgical options.

Failed back syndrome

Failed back syndrome is a term used to describe patients with ongoing lower extremity pain, and often some measure of back pain, despite otherwise successful lumbar surgery. It requires a thorough evaluation and often a multidisciplinary team of physicians to achieve successful management.

Head trauma

Head trauma encompasses a wide variety of injuries. This can include skull fractures, epidural hematoma, subdural hematoma, subarachnoid hemorrhage, intraparenchymal hemorrhage/contusion and diffuse axonal injury. Head injuries are routinely initially evaluated with CAT scan.

Hemifacial spasm

Hemifacial spasm is a neuromuscular disorder affecting a muscle within the face. Twitching of the eyelid muscle is the most common location. As the disorder progresses, the spasms may extend into the muscles of the lower face. The condition can often be managed medically but at times may require surgery.

Lumbar disc herniation

Lumbar disc herniation is a fragment of the disc nucleus that is pushed out of the annulus, into the spinal canal through a tear or rupture in the annulus. Discs that become herniated represent a form of degenerative disease or occur as a result of trauma. The spinal canal has limited space, which is often inadequate to accommodate both the spinal nerve and the displaced disc fragment. Due to this displacement, the disc presses on spinal nerves, often producing pain, which may be severe. This pain is referred to as radiculopathy, commonly known as sciatica.

Lumbar spondylolisthesis

Lumbar spondylolisthesis is a condition that can also contribute to lumbar spinal stenosis. Spondylolisthesis is a slip of one vertebrae relative to another.  Spondylolisthesis is often degenerative and caused by osteoarthritis of the facet joints, but occasionally can be caused by a congenital defect.

Lumbar stenosis

Lumbar stenosis is a narrowing of the central spinal canal. Narrowing of the spinal canal usually occurs slowly, over many years. The disks become less spongy and less hydrated with aging, resulting in loss of disk height, and may cause bulging of the hardened disk into the spinal canal. Disc bulging combined with ligament overgrowth and bone spurs commonly account for spinal stenosis.

Malignant brain tumors

Malignant brain tumor is a term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. Some of these cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body. Examples of malignant brain tumors include high-grade glioma and metastasis.

Meningioma

Meningiomas are the most common benign intracranial tumor. They originate from arachnoid cap cells, which are located in the layers of protective tissue around the brain. The layers around the brain are collectively called the meninges. The majority of meningiomas are benign, and grow slowly.  Because of this slow growth they can sometimes become very large before demonstrating any symptoms.

Pituitary tumors

These are common benign tumors of the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is considered the "master gland" of the body and produces hormones that regulate the other glands. Some tumors secrete hormones and other secrete no hormones. Excessive growth of a pituitary tumor can compress the optic nerves, inhibiting vision.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine. It is diagnosed in both children and adults. Scoliosis is defined as spinal curvature in the frontal plane, measuring 10° or greater. Many patients with scoliosis do not require surgery but benefit from a thoughtful evaluation.

Skull base tumors

Skull base tumors encompass a variety of tumors located at the depths of the brain.  Many of these tumors are considered benign, but it is their location that makes them, at times, challenging to treat. Recent advances in radiation have made these tumors more manageable and the treatments less invasive.

Spinal compression fractures

Spinal compression fractures occur when the bony block or vertebral body in the spine collapses, which can lead to severe pain, deformity and loss of height. These fractures more commonly occur in the thoracic spine, especially in the lower part. While osteoporosis is the most common cause, these fractures may also be caused by trauma or spine tumors.

Spinal deformity

Spinal deformity is a term used to describe diseases of the spine such as scoliosis and other instances of spinal malalignment.  The treatment can be operative or non-operative and requires sophisticated imaging and evaluation to determine the best course of action. Scoliosis remains the most common example of spinal deformity.

Spinal trauma

Spine trauma is seen at all levels of the spine: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral. The severity of the injury includes the nature of the fracture and any associated neurologic consequences.

Thoracic disc herniation

Thoracic disc herniation is a fragment of the disc nucleus that is pushed out of the annulus, into the spinal canal through a tear or rupture in the annulus in the thoracic spine. Clinically significant degenerative changes are the least common throughout the spine, occurring much less frequently than the cervical or lumbar disc herniations. The symptoms of thoracic disc herniation can be similar to that of cervical disc herniation.

Trigeminal neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia, also more traditionally known as tic douloureux, is often described as the most excruciating pain one can experience. The pain can involve any area of the face from the eye down to the jaw. This intense, stabbing, electric shock-like pain is caused by irritation of the trigeminal nerve.  Many times medication is sufficient treatment, but at times surgery or radiation are required.

Ulnar nerve compression

Ulnar nerve compression is less common than carpal tunnel syndrome, but results from similar compression of a peripheral nerve, in this case the ulnar nerve.  The most common site of compression is at the elbow, called the cubital tunnel.  This condition is formally diagnosed with an EMG/NCV. Surgical management of ulnar nerve compression includes an incision at the elbow to release compressed nerve.

Vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma)

A vestibular schwannoma (also known as acoustic neuroma) is a benign, usually slow-growing tumor that develops on the nerves of the inner ear (vestibular nerve). The tumor comes from an overproduction of Schwann cells--the cells that normally wrap around nerves. These tumors are often diagnosed because of hearing loss, and much less commonly because of paralysis of the facial nerve.