Conditions We Treat.

Expert Neurosurgical Care.

At Nashville Neurosurgical Associates, we treat a wide range of neurosurgical conditions. Our team of expert neurosurgeons each provide expertise in the care and treatment of brain, spine and nerve disease. With our extensive credentials and experience, we are proud to be one of the region’s leading providers of expert neurosurgical care and treatment.

We are pioneers in the treatment of complex conditions, such as trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm. We also provide a full range of neurosurgical care and provide cutting-edge, minimally invasive treatment for a variety of neurosurgical conditions, including the following.

SPINE DISEASE

Spine disease describes any disease that primarily affects the spine. The spine is a series of vertebrae that run along the back, or the backbone. It protects the spinal cord, internal organs and nerves that run through the back. The spine has four regions: cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral.

Spondylosis refers to degeneration in the spine either in the spinal bones or discs. Spondylosis typically occurs in the cervical (neck) or lumbar (low back) portions of the spine and is common among older patients. Though not everyone experiences symptoms, patients with symptoms frequently report feelings of pain or stiffness along the spine. Learn more.

Discs are the rubbery buffer between each vertebra in the back. A herniated disc, commonly known as a slipped disc, is a condition in which the center part of the disc protrudes. This typically occurs after a tear in the tough ring that surrounds the soft inner core, resulting in herniation of the softer material. Aging is the most common cause; however, trauma can also cause disc herniations. Learn more.

The spinal cord is surrounded by a tough fibrous covering called the dura. Tumors can arise in any area of the spine and are grouped according to location. The three groups of spinal tumors are: extradural (outside of the dura), intradural-extramedullary (between the spinal cord and the dura) and intramedullary (within the substance of the spinal cord itself). Learn more.

Spine fractures can occur for many reasons including falls, osteoporosis, traumatic accidents, spinal tumors or spinal infections. Many fractures will never require surgery, but major fractures can result in serious long-term problems unless treated promptly and properly. Learn more.

With aging, the discs in the spine degenerate and narrow. To repair this condition, the spine creates bone spurs and thickened ligaments—short bands that hold bones, cartilage and joints together. This process leads to gradual narrowing of the spinal canal. Spinal stenosis can occur at any level of the spine; however, it is most common in the lumbar (lower) and cervical (upper) spine. Learn more.

Post-laminectomy syndrome is also called failed back surgery syndrome because it refers to ongoing pain after a back surgery. There can be several causes of post-laminectomy syndrome, including complications after surgery, persistent pain after a successful surgery or new pain arising after surgery. Learn more.

Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy, or CSM, is a degenerative spine disease that is common in patients over 50. As the body ages, the spinal cord can become compressed in response to wear-and-tear on the spine. This compression often causes neck stiffness and numbness, tingling or weakness in the hands, arms and legs. Learn more.

Radiculopathy is often referred to as a pinched nerve and is a set of symptoms related to the nerves in the spine. When there is a problem at a nerve root as it exits the spinal cord, pain can radiate out to other parts of the body. Radiculopathy refers to this radiating pain, usually down the arms and legs.
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BRAIN TUMORS

A tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue or cells in the body. Brain tumors occur in the brain or in nearby tissue. There are many different types of brain tumors, and treatment must be personalized to each patient. Brain tumors can be cancerous—malignant—or noncancerous—benign.

Brain tumors are abnormal growths of cells located in the brain or arising from the coverings of the brain. Tumors are generally separated into two categories: 1) primary brain tumors, those arriving within the head itself or 2) metastatic tumors, tumors that spread from different areas of the body. Learn more.

Acoustic neuromas are benign, slow-growing tumors arising on the nerves of hearing and balance. Symptoms may include hearing loss in one ear, ringing (tinnitus) in the affected ear, dizziness and loss of balance. Learn more.

Craniopharyngioma is a benign brain tumor most commonly occurring in the area of the brain near the pituitary gland and optic nerves. These tumors occur throughout a person’s life, with the first peak occurring in childhood and early adolescence, around ages 5-10 years. The second peak occurs around ages 40-60 years. These tumors occur equally in men and women. Learn more.

The pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain, is a small organ about the size of an acorn. The pituitary gland is sometimes referred to as the “master gland” because it releases substances that control the basic functions of growth, metabolism and reproduction. A tumor in the pituitary gland causes symptoms by either releasing too much or too little of a hormone. Learn more.

Rathke’s cleft cysts—or RCCs—are lesions located at the base of the brain. They are thought to occur when part of the Rathke’s pouch, a structure that comes from the roof of the mouth in an embryo, is leftover. Most patients will complain of headaches and visual problems, such as loss of peripheral vision. Learn more.

BRAIN ANEURYSM

A cerebral aneurysm, also known as a brain aneurysm, arises from a weak spot in the wall of an artery in the brain, which leads to a balloon-like pouch or sac. Brain aneurysms occur more commonly in women than men. They occur mainly in adults and are rare in children. Learn more.

PERIPHERAL NERVE DISEASE

Peripheral nerve disease affects the peripheral nervous system. Nerves are fibrous material throughout the body that transmit signals through small electrical pulses. The peripheral nervous system involves all nerves outside the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). Peripheral nerve disease most commonly affects the nerves in the hands, arms, legs and feet.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is thickening of the ligament that runs across the base of the hand that causes the median nerve to be compressed. This causes pain and numbness in the hand. Patients may complain of tingling or “pins and needles” in their fingers and hand, usually in the thumb, index and middle fingers. Sensory loss and a burning sensation are also common. Learn more.

The ulnar nerve, or “funny bone” nerve, controls muscles in the forearm and hand, running up through the elbow. It gives sensation to parts of the hand. If the nerve becomes pressed in the elbow, it can cause numbness and tingling in the palm, ring finger and small finger. This is called cubital tunnel syndrome or ulnar neuropathy. Learn more.

HYDROCEPHALUS

Hydrocephalus results from the excessive accumulation of fluid in the cavities of the brain. When an injury or illness changes the brain’s circulation, fluid can build up. In adults, this can occur for many reasons, but most often it is due to hemorrhage, infections, brain damage, stroke or tumors. In some cases, no cause can be identified. Learn more.

CHIARI MALFORMATIONS

Chiari malformations arise when a part of the brain (cerebellar tonsils) extends down into the opening at the base of the skull where the spinal cord exits. The presence of the tonsils within this part of the brain can result in abnormal spinal fluid flow and create direct pressure on the brainstem. These malformations usually occur without any known cause. Learn more.

TRIGEMINAL NEURALGIA

Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the nerves in the face. The pain in trigeminal neuralgia is caused by compression of the trigeminal nerve, which carries signals from the face to the brain. Patients with trigeminal neuralgia experience facial pain that can be triggered by even mild sensations, like brushing teeth. Learn more.

HEMIFACIAL SPASM

Hemifacial spasm is characterized by an involuntary twitching or spasm of the facial muscles. Hemifacial spasm results from uncontrolled contractions of the muscles of the face. It is caused by compression of the facial nerve, which is typically caused by a displaced artery or vein. Learn more.

VASCULAR MALFORMATION

The vascular system runs throughout the body and is made up of vessels. These vessels circulate blood through the body. Disruptions in this system are called vascular malformations. These malformations are congenital, meaning they are present at birth, but may appear on the body at any age. Vascular malformations are rare, and the cause is not well-known.

Brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is an abnormal tangle of blood vessels in the brain, which can cause bleeding, seizures or stroke-like symptoms. These symptoms are typically reported as weakness, numbness or tingling. Learn more.

The spinal cord extends from the base of the brain, down the middle of the back, to the waist. The nerves that lie within the spinal cord carry messages back and forth from the brain to the spinal nerves located along the spinal cord. Spinal cord vascular malformations are a group of blood vessel disorders that affect the blood flow through the spinal cord. Learn more.

Moyamoya disease is a progressive disease of the blood vessels at the base of the brain. The condition leads to irreversible blockage of the main blood vessels to the brain as they enter the skull. Patients tend to show signs of stroke or mini strokes, such as speech difficulties, paralysis in part of the body, weakness, numbness or loss of consciousness. Learn more.

STROKE

A stroke occurs when the blood flow to the brain is reduced or interrupted. This deprives the brain of oxygen and nutrients. Symptoms of stroke include trouble speaking or understanding and paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg.

A stroke is an interruption or reduction in blood flow to the brain. When the brain is deprived of oxygen and nutrients, brain damage can occur. Difficulty speaking, drooping face and numbness or paralysis of the limbs are all common stroke symptoms. Learn more.

The carotid arteries are the two main paths for blood to travel from the heart to the brain. Carotid stenosis is a blockage of these arteries that can cause a lack of blood flow between the brain and heart. This blockage is most commonly associated with plaque build-up from high cholesterol. Carotid stenosis most commonly presents as stroke or stroke-like episodes, where the brain doesn’t receive enough blood.
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Cerebral arteries are pathways that carry blood throughout the brain. Unlike carotid arteries, cerebral arteries are much smaller and can become bl