Frequently Asked Questions about Neurosurgery and Back Surgery in San Antonio, Texas

 

What is neurosurgery?

Neurosurgery is a surgical specialty that covers the entire nervous system, which includes the brain, spine, and peripheral nerves (nerves that have left the spinal cord). Like other medical specialties, our physicians have gone to medical school and completed a residency period. However, our surgeons have also completed fellowships to further specialize and enhance their skill.

 

Do you only perform surgery?

Absolutely not. We take a conservative approach to managing pain, where nonsurgical methods take priority if we feel they can help. Surgery only becomes an option if we believe there is no other way to resolve your condition or manage your symptoms.

 

What is pain management?

Pain management focuses on treating all types of chronic and acute pain. Treatments involve a number of nonsurgical and minimally invasive treatments that can provide substantial relief with little to no downtime.

 

What does “minimally invasive” mean?

While still technically surgery, minimally invasive refers to surgical techniques that don’t involve large, open incisions. We often use small cameras inserted through tiny one-inch incisions to visualize the procedure on a large display screen, and we perform the actual procedure using small, precise tools. Minimally invasive procedures often take one to two weeks to recover from (at most), and typically leave fewer scars afterward.

 

Do I need imaging before my appointment?

No. We are happy to schedule you for an evaluation without any prior imaging. X-ray and nerve testing is available at each location, and we will refer you for any other imaging tests we may require in order to evaluate your condition.

 

How can a NCS/EMG help?

NCS/EMG studies provide key information about peripheral nerves and muscle function.

The clinical electrophysiology department of Neurosurgery and Spine Consultants is comprised of physical therapists who are board-certified electrophysiologic clinical specialists trained to perform NCS and EMG.

A NCS, also called a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test, is a measurement of the speed of conduction of an electrical impulse through a nerve. During the test, the nerve is stimulated with a small amount of current (this feels like an electrical pulse), and  adhesive electrodes that are placed on your skin record the nerve response.  This is repeated for various nerves and compared to normal values to  determine if there is evidence of nerve damage.

EMG assesses the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them (motor neurons). Motor neurons transmit electrical signals that cause muscles to contract. During an EMG, a needle (very small in diameter) is inserted into a muscle and electrical activity is recorded. EMG results are helpful to reveal dysfunction within the nerve, muscle or muscle to nerve junction.

 

How fast can you schedule me for an appointment?

We understand that you may be in a lot of pain, so we will do everything we can to schedule you for the next day. However, within 10 days is standard.

 

To schedule an appointment or ask any other questions you may have, call 210-255-8935 today. You can also request an appointment using the form on this page.