Neurosurgery is an advanced and highly specialized branch of surgery. It’s not something you walk into lightly. It’s not trivial medicine. But that said, there is a surprising amount of diversity in the field. Because the neurological system has been proven to be more complicated and complex than we believed before, neurosurgeons are able to touch on and help in a lot of different circumstances.
The neurological system doesn’t seem like it’s got a lot of moving parts if you look at it. You could say it’s just the brain and your nerves. It’s a common reaction, and understandable to boot. We’ve found, after all, that the brain is the center of the nervous system. It’s easy to dismiss them as simple things.
A neurosurgeon would tell you differently. It’s true that the brain and the nerves are just a pair of organs. They’re a pair of organs, however, that work in tandem with the rest of your body. Your nerves travel up and down your spine, out along your limbs, into your organs. They touch an awful lot of moving parts. They have to; it’s their function.
The problem with such a simple system is that, with that many moving parts, there are that many opportunities for the nerves to be damaged.
Just consider the spine, for instance. That’s the main highway for the nervous system. It is made up of the column, and of the various vertebrae that protect the column. The nerve travels not only along the spine, but out between the vertebrae so that it can touch and relay information back and forth between your brain and your body.
In the spine alone is a great deal of peril for your nerves. This is actually the most common reason that neurosurgeons end up working. There’s a lot of separate tissues at work around the spine, and as a result, you can have a lot of things go wrong.
The vertebrae themselves, for example, can have a severe tendency to pinch down on the nerves. It’s an ailment of society – sitting dramatically elevates the pressure on the spine, and it causes the bones to compress toward each other. Do it often enough and you end up exacerbating the problem.
Thankfully, it’s not the biggest deal in the world. These kinds of smaller problems are the bulk of a neurosurgeon’s work. We’re thankful for it. Better the small problems than the larger ones.