Neurosurgery for Children
We have the expertise to provide the highest quality care for children with neurosurgical issues. Given the complex nature of many pediatric neurosurgical conditions, we work closely with other pediatric subspecialties, such as neurology, urology, endocrinology, orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, oncology, and pediatric general surgery, in order to provide comprehensive care to our patients. We strive to see that all of our patients have the opportunity to reach their greatest potential.
By specializing in early childhood conditions, we are able to provide the utmost treatment and support.
Additional Conditions That Can Be Treated:
- Dermoid cysts
- Brain Tumors and spinal cord tumors
- Skull defects and Skull fractures
- Intracranial hemorrhages
- Vascular malformations
- Surgical management of medically intractable epilepsy
Chiari malformation is when the back of the brain (the cerebellar tonsils) is descended below the base of the skull. Symptoms may vary, but the most common include headaches (commonly at the back of the head), dizziness, balance problems, numbness, choking, swallowing difficulties, sleep apnea and scoliosis. The extent or severity of this condition varies from case to case, and therefore not everyone would require surgery. Those with progressive and severe symptoms can only be treated with surgery. Surgery involves decompressing the back of the brain and placing a patch graft over the covering of the brain and spinal cord. For more information, click on Chiari Alliance Project.
Craniosynostosis is the premature closure of one or more cranial vault sutures, resulting in deformation of the skull and sometimes the face. As the brain grows, this growth restriction can cause increased intracranial pressure, which can manifest in developmental delay, headaches or vision loss. Although early diagnosis is best, we can treat most cases of craniosynostosis at any age, from infants to teens. Innovative technologies are employed to provide optimal results. Our neurosurgeons are part of a craniofacial team consisting of plastic surgeons, dentists, and social workers, to provide comprehensive care for patients with craniosynostosis.
Our pediatric neurosurgeons diagnose, manage and treat hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is the abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain, which can result in increased pressure. Treatment options include a shunt, endoscopic fenestration, or endoscopic third ventriculostomy. Each case is individualized and the treatment option is selected to maximize success and the functional outcome of the child. To learn more about hydrocephalus, click on The Hydrocephalus Association and Hydrocephalus Kids.
Positional plagiocephaly (or, "flat head" in infancy) is common due, in part, to the "back to sleep" campaign. The best treatment for this occurs when the infant is diagnosed early in life. In rare cases, the deformity is severe enough to warrant surgery. The pediatric neurosurgeons at CHRISTUS Health can help guide the proper treatment for infants who harbor this deformity to optimize outcomes.
This is a congenital malformation of the spinal cord, which, at times, can involve the brain, as well. Management of patients with spina bifida often involves a multi-disciplinary approach. At CHRISTUS Health, we have a regular clinic in which neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, rehab medicine, social workers and urology are all involved to provide the most comprehensive care for patients with spina bifida. Click on Spina Bifida Association to learn more about spina bifida.
Spasticity is commonly treated with medications and/or injections. However, when those options do not work or have intolerable side effects, there are surgical procedures that can help. At CHRISTUS Health, the neurosurgeons work closely with neurologists, orthopedic surgery and rehab medicine to help select those patients who would benefit from surgery for spasticity. Surgeries include selective dorsal rhizotomy and placement of a baclofen pump.
Tethered Spinal Cord
A tethered spinal cord is a diagnosis that encompasses several different types of problems. Many of these are treated with surgery, although some can be monitored closely. In general, the surgery is designed to “release” the spinal cord from attachments that can tether it as the child grows, and cause problems with chronic pain, bladder dysfunction, scoliosis, weakness and foot deformities.