Adult Vs Pediatric Neurosurgeon. What are the differences?

At Neurosurgery Associates, patients often ask us about the main differences between an adult and a pediatric neurosurgeon.
In this short video, Dr. Joseph Shehadi, neurosurgeon specialized in the treatment of adults, tackles the subject.

 

He notes three major differences:
1- Patient age group.
2- Problems treated.
3- Studies and training.

 

1- An adult neurosurgeon will treat patients from the age of 16 years old and over, whereas a pediatric neurosurgeon takes care of patients from birth until the age of 15.

2 -Pediatric neurosurgeons take care of congenital birth defects. Some of the most common defects are:
Craniosynostosis: a birth defect in which one or more of the fibrous joints between the bones of an infant’s skull, prematurely fuses by turning into bone, thereby changing the growth pattern of the skull.
Spina Bifida also known as Myelomeningocele: a type of birth defect where the spinal column and spinal cord do not develop properly.

Adult neurosurgeons on the other hand, take care of problems that develop and occur slowly over time. Some of the most common diseases are:
Cervical degenerative disc disease: develops when one or more of the cushioning discs in the cervical spine starts to break down due to wear and tear.
Lumbar degenerative disc disease: a syndrome in which age-related wear and tear on a spinal disc causes low back pain.
Herniated discs: a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (disks) between the individual bones (vertebrae).
Spine fractures: aka compression fracture is a vertebral bone in the spine that has decreased at least 15 to 20% in height due to fracture.
Cervical or Lumbar spinal stenosis: is a narrowing of the spaces within the spine, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine.

 
3-Pediatric Neurosurgeons do a pediatric neurosurgical fellowship at a children’s hospital. Whereas an adult neurosurgeon has other options, such as, neuro oncology, neuro vascular or functional neurosurgery.
Dr. Joseph Shehadi chose to do neuro surgical oncology fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Texas, so that he can treat patients with brain and spine tumors.
You can ask Dr. Shehadi questions by contacting him at his office or by using the contact page.