Pediatric Specialties — Pediatric Neurosurgery
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Definitions

Arnold Chiari Deformity - Also known as chiari malformations (CMs), these structural defects are in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance. CMs may develop when the bony space is smaller than normal, causing the cerebellum and brain stem to be pushed down toward the upper spinal canal. The resulting pressure on the cerebellum and brain stem may block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid—the clear liquid that surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord—to and from the brain, and affect functioning.

Craniosynostosis - A birth defect in which the bones of the skull close prematurely, limiting or distorting the skull's growth. It is characterized in infancy by an abnormal but characteristic head shape.

Endovascular surgery - Minimally invasive surgery using catheters (thin tubes).

Hydrocephalus - A disorder in which too much cerebrospinal fluid, usually under high pressure, accumulates in the cavities of the brain. This can be caused by a birth defect, brain tumor, infection, hemorrhage, or brain injury. Hydrocephalus is also commonly referred to as water on the brain.

Pediatric Brain Tumors - Symptoms and signs occur due to pressure on neural structures, with resultant irritation or destruction.

Pediatric Degenerative Disc - This condition is characterized by damage to the invertebral discs, the gel-like cushions that separate each segment of the backbone or spine. Pain and stiffness in the neck and/or back can result, as well as pain that spreads to the back of the head, trunk, shoulders, arms, hands, legs, and feet.

Pediatric Herniated Disc - A break in the cartilage surrounding a disc in the spine, causing pressure on spinal nerves that produce pain down the arms or legs. Usually preceded by an episode of neck or low back pain or a long history of intermittent neck or back pain.

Spinal Cord Injuries - Commonly referred to as a "broken" neck or back, spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis and loss of motor function. Correction of defects associated with spinal cord injury can improve neurologic function.

Tethered Cord Syndrome - This occurs when the spinal cord attaches itself to the bony spine and causes abnormal stretching of the spinal cord. It can result in permanent damage to the muscles and nerves in the lower body and legs.