Diseases, Medical Tests & Treatments

Arthroplasty

Joints are continually exposed to multiple injuries, so it may be necessary to perform an arthroplasty. Arthroplasty is a surgical operation that is performed to restore mobility and the joint's normal function.

Arm pain

‘Brachalgia’ is the arm equivalent of sciatica and caused by compression of a nerve in the neck, producing pain which shoots down the arm.

Back pain

Lower back pain often radiates to the thighs and is caused by wear and tear in the spine. It is usually treated with Physiotherapy/Pilates and Pain Clinic input in the first instance.

Back surgery

Back surgery is carried out to correct structural abnormalities of the spine that cause pain. It is used in cases where there is significant compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots, and when the cause is, without a doubt, a structural abnormality. One of the injuries that need to be treated by spine surgery is a herniated cervical disc. Cervical spine surgery may be necessary to reduce pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots when pain is caused by a herniated disc or a bone narrowing of the spinal canal. Surgery may also be required to stabilise the cervical spine and minimise the possibility of paralysis when a fracture or dislocation causes a vertebral instability.

Brain metastasis

Brain metastasis is a type of cancer starting elsewhere in the body, and spreading to the brain. The tumour types that most often develop metastases in the brain are melanoma, lung carcinoma, breast carcinoma and cancer of the kidney. Other cancers either never spread the brain, or very rarely do. When brain metastasis occurs, the tumour in the brain causes inflammation and intracranial pressure.

Brain trauma

Trauma to the head causes injuries which range from mild concussion to life-threatening diffuse brain swelling and may include large bleeds within the skull needing an operation.

Brain tumours

Tumours of the brain itself or its covering layers (meninges) may be benign and slow-growing or rapid and malignant. Either type may produce pressure on the brain.

Chiari malformation

The Chiari malformation is a congenital defect characterised by when the cerebellum (the part of the brain that controls balance) projects and comes to occupy part of the space for the spinal cord. In many cases, it occurs because of not having enough space. Although sometimes it might not have any symptoms and goes unnoticed throughout life, Chiari malformation can obstruct proper circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid, which is intrinsic in the communication between the brain and the rest of the body. Consequently, Chiari disease causes significant motor difficulties. Currently, the only treatment to correct their effects and stop its evolution is cranial surgery.

Discectomy

A discectomy is performed when the patient has a herniated disk in the spinal column. The procedure enables the surgeon to remove part or all of the disk in oreder to alleviate the pain. To carried out the surgery (which takes about two hours) hospitalization and spinal or general anesthesia is required. The specialist makes a cut in the back, and locates the damaged discs using a microscope

Hydrocephalus

Blockage of the normal fluid drainage pathways in the brain leads to a build-up of pressure and causes headaches, visual problems and may cause deteriorating consciousness.

Laminectomy

The vertebral column has 33 vertebrae that protect the spinal cord, separated by the so-called intervertebral discs. When one of these discs is compressed, it may fragment and press on a nerve in the spinal cord, which causes pain of greater or lesser severity depending on the location of the injured disc. Lumbar laminectomy is a surgical procedure designed to remove the part of the vertebra that is causing this pressure on the spinal nerves or spinal cord to relieve the associated pain. The most common lumbar laminectomy surgery is decompressive laminectomy and involves removing the lamina from the vertebra, increasing the space for the nerves in the spinal canal. A posterior cervical laminectomy is a procedure in which the surgeon makes an incision in the midline of the back of the neck to extract the lamina from a vertebral arch, which depending on the case, will require the removal of part of or the entire damaged disc.

Lumbar herniated disc

What is lumbar spine disc herniation? A spinal disc herniation, herniated disc or a slipped disc, refers to a condition affecting one of the discs in the spine. Between each vertebrae in the spine, there is a cushion, known as an intervertebral disc. A tear in the out, fibrous ring of one these discs can allow the central, jelly-like section of the disc to budge out. This is called a spinal disc herniation, more commonly referred to as a slipped disc. Although it can happen anywhere along the spine, it most commonly occurs in the lower back (lumbar). What are the symptoms? The most common symptom of a lumbar spine herniated disc is back pain. If the disc presses on surrounding nerves, individuals may experience arm or leg pain, numbness or tingling, and weakness. Intense pain in the buttocks, thighs and even feet is also common. In some case, people experience no symptoms at all. What causes it? The most common cause is gradual wear and tear through ageing. As a person ages, the water content of the intervertebral discs reduces, making them less flexible and more likely to rupture. Additionally, bending, twisting, lifting heavy objects awkwardly, obesity or an injury or trauma can all put increased strain on the back. How can it be prevented? The risk of a slipped disc can be reduced by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a healthy weight, and regular exercise is important. When lifting heavy objects it is also helpful to observe a safe technique to avoid unnecessary strain. Smoking also causes discs to lose flexibility and giving up may help to reduce the chances of suffering a herniated disc. What is the treatment? Most herniated discs will gradually improve and treatment may just consist of avoiding painful positions, taking gentle exercise and medication for the pain. Physiotherapy is also commonly used to treat a slipped disc, using exercise plans, positions and massages to treat the injury. Medications are used to ease the pain and the type used will depend on its severity. Over the counter pain killers are used for mild cases whilst stronger painkillers are prescribed for worse cases. Additionally, anti-inflammatory injections directly into the spine are used to relieve severe pain in the short term in some cases and muscle relaxants are also deployed in some cases. If the symptoms do not improve or are very severe, surgery might be an option. An operation known as a discectomy can be used to cut away part of the disc to release the pressure on the surrounding nerves.

Neck pain

Pain felt at the back of the neck often radiates to the back of the skull and/or shoulders and is usually treated with Physiotherapy/Pilates and Pain Clinic input in the first instance.

Sciatica

Pain caused by compression of a nerve in the lower spine and shooting down the leg to below the knee.

Skull fracture

A skull fracture is the breakage of one or more bones of the skull which is the structure that protects the brain, nerves, blood vessels and inner ear. Although it is a very strong part of the body and is very difficult to break, a skull fracture can be caused by falls, car accidents, some form of physical aggression or cranial trauma. Among its clearest symptoms are bleeding from the wound, which can be accompanied by bleeding in the ears, nose and eyes; haematomas; variations in pupil size; confusion, imbalance, nausea, loss of consciousness and headache. Therefore, when a person receives a strong blow to the head it is best to visit a doctor as soon as possible to diagnose the scope of the damage and its treatment, if necessary.

Slipped Disc

A fragment of the disc in between two vertebrae which slips (prolapses) into the spinal canal, pressing on a nerve and causing pain and sometimes weakness and numbness.

Spinal fusion

Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure carried out to treat degenerative diseases of the spine. Using bone from the pelvic bone or a bone bank, a link is made between two vertebrae in order to fuse them together. The procedure aims to stabilise the spine in order to relieve local pain. Spinal fusion is divided into anterior cervical fusion, posterior cervical arthrodesis and posterior lumbar spine fusion. It is performed in the operating room under general anaesthesia.

Subdural haematoma

It is an accumulation of blood in the brain surface. Usually the result of a serious head injury. This often results in brain injury and can cause death.
Conditions Treated
Acoustic neuromaCyberknifeLumbar fusionSpina bífida
Acoustic neuroma surgeryDeep brain stimulation (DBS)Lumbar herniated discSpinal cancer
Alzheimer’s diseaseDegenerative disc diseaseMinimally invasive spine surgerySpinal cord stimulator
ArthroplastyDiathermocoagulationMovement disordersSpinal disc replacement
Back surgeryDiscectomyNervous systemSpinal fusion
Bone marrow cancersEndoscopic sinus surgeryNervous system malformationsSpinal stenosis
Brain aneurysmEndoscopic Skull Base SurgeryNeuropathic painSpinal surgery
Brain haemorrhageEpilepsyOCD surgery 36Stromal vascular fraction
Brain metastasisEpilepsy surgeryParkinson’s diseaseSubdural haematoma
Cerebrovascular accidentGamma knifePaediatric NeurosurgeryTethered spinal cord
Cervical herniated discHydrocephalusRadiosurgeryTranssphenoidal surgery
Chiari malformationHyperthermia therapyRhizotomyTrigeminal neuralgia
Craniocervical junction abnormalitiesIntracranial hematomasSecond medical opiniónVascular malformations
CraniosynostosisLaminectomySkull fractureVertebroplasty

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