Conditions & Procedures

Port City Neurosurgery & Spine treats a broad range of neurosurgical problems. We have provided an informative list of the most common disorders and treatments that may help you better understand your diagnosis; however, this list is not all-inclusive. If you have a disorder that is not listed on this site and you would like to know if it is a condition that we treat, please call our office at 910-338-2773.

Patients who are informed that they need surgery may become overwhelmed in the doctor’s office by the amount of information given about the procedure. As a patient, you may understand the procedure as described by the doctor, but have difficulty properly relaying that information to your family members.

Additionally, neurosurgical procedures can seem scary to patients and to their loved ones. At Port City Neurosurgery & Spine, we believe that providing the patient and his or her family with easy-to-understand information will help relieve any anxiety they may be experiencing. We want you to understand exactly what will be done, the risks involved, pre- and post-operative care, and average recovery time.

We also have pamphlets in our office that can assist you and, as always, we welcome your phone calls should you have questions directly for the doctor, PA, or medical assistant.

Port City Neurosurgery & Spine, as well as its employees, physicians and affiliates, are not liable for the content or accuracy of information provided in these links. Our intent is to provide you with a basic understanding of common disorders, but it is crucial for patients to be diagnosed by a physician. Please feel free to contact our office at the number above if you have any additional questions.

Spine Conditions

Adult Deformity – Adult spinal deformity refers to problems with spinal alignment. Typical conditions include Scoliosis, Kyphosis, also known as Scheuermann’s disease, Dowager’s hump or hunchback, and Fixed Sagittal Imbalance (FSI). Read More      See Procedure

Herniated Disc / Spinal Stenosis – Sometimes called a slipped disc, a herniated disc can occur anywhere along the spine. Often people who experience a herniated disc already have spinal stenosis, a condition that causes narrowing of the space around the spinal cord and spinal nerves, which leads to persistent pain and/or a lack of feeling in the buttocks and legs. Read More

Sciatica – The largest peripheral nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve is made from the nerve roots in the lower portion of the spine (lumbar and sacral regions). It runs from the lower portion of the spinal cord, behind the hip joint and down the back of the thigh. The condition known as sciatica (or lumbar radiculopathy) refers to pain in the area of the sciatic nerve whether or not the nerve is the source of the pain.  Often sciatica is due to sciatic nerve inflammation, which affects the normal functions of this area of the body. Read More      See Procedure

Spinal Column/Cord Injuries – Injuries to the spinal column and/or spinal cord are often caused by trauma (including car accident, gunshot and falls). The trauma fractures or dislocates vertebrae, the fragments of which compress, bruise and/or tear into the spinal cord tissue. Read More

Spinal Column/Cord Tumors – Neoplasms, also known as spinal tumors, are abnormal growths of tissue found inside the spinal column or the spinal cord itself.  Primary tumors of the spine (those that begin at those sites) are relatively rare, and may be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Read More

Spondylolisthesis – Simply means an actual slip between vertebral bodies that may or may not move when you move, pinching the nerves and causing pain.  This is different from a slipped disc.  Because of the similar spellings and pronunciations, the two different conditions known as spondylolisthesis (spon-dee-low-lis-thee-sis) and spondylolysis (spon-dee-low-lye-sis) may cause confusion. Read More      See Procedure

Brain Conditions

Arterio-Venus Malformation (AVM’s) – An Arterio-Venous Malformation, or AVM, is a defect in the circulatory system that likely occurs during prenatal development or soon after birth. In normal circumstances, body tissue is nourished by oxygenated blood in the capillaries. An AVM is an area that is missing capillaries, which means oxygenated blood is simply rerouted back to the heart at higher flows/pressures than usual without supplying nutrients to tissue. Read More

Chiari Malformation – This brain condition can contribute to many different symptoms, including dizziness, muscle weakness, numbness, vision problems, headache, problems with balance and coordination. Read More      See Procedure

Hydrocephalus – Known as “water on the brain,” hydrocephalus is a medical condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in and around the brain. Read More      See Procedure

Pituitary Tumor – The majority of pituitary tumors are benign (not cancerous), slow-growing and do not spread to other parts of the body. However, problems may arise when they cause the gland to produce too many hormones or when they grow too large and begin to interfere with normal functions or cause vision loss. Read More      See Procedure

Trigeminal Neuralgia / Face Pain – Trigeminal neuralgia (TN), also sometimes called tic douloureux, is a painful condition that causes extreme, sporadic, sudden shock-like face pain. The likely cause is a blood vessel pressing on the trigeminal nerve as it exits the brainstem. Read More      See Procedure

Cervical Spine Procedures

Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Instrumentation & Fusion (ACDF) – For patients who have cervical stenosis or cervical disc disease, an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion may be recommended. The procedure provides relief for people with neck, arm, and hand pain caused by arthritic bone spurs or herniated disc(s) pressing on one or more nerves. Read More

Corpectomy & Fusion – When the area that requires decompression cannot be adequately addressed by anterior cervical discectomy alone, a corpectomy may be needed. This procedure typically involves the removal of two discs and the vertebral body between them in order to decompress the cervical spinal cord and spinal nerves. Read More

Cervical Disc Arthroplasty – Cervical disc arthroplasty is a newer procedure that attempts to provide decompression in the same manner that anterior cervical discectomy does while replacing the interbody fusion implants/grafts and the anterior plate with a synthetic joint in order to maintain motion. Read More

Laminectomy / Posterior Foramenotomy – During a laminectomy, an incision is made in the back of the neck and the neck muscles are gently separated in the natural anatomic planes. The lamina (or a part of it) is then removed, allowing the surgeon to see the nerve roots. A small portion of bone and/or disc material around the nerve root is also removed, creating space for the nerve root that is being compressed. The pressure and pain are alleviated, permitting healing to occur. Read More

Laminaplasty – Similar to laminectomy, the laminaplasty procedure involves an incision in the back of the neck and relief of pressure on the nerve roots of the spinal cord. However, instead of removal of the lamina, the procedure creates a “hinged door” by completely cutting one side of the lamina and making several small incisions on the other side. Read More

Brain Procedures

Microvascular Decompression for Trigeminal Neuralgia – This procedure is done to eliminate or greatly reduce the pain caused by a blood vessel (usually an artery) pressing on the trigeminal nerve in the face. A small opening is made in the skull and then the dura (protective covering of the brain).  The surgeon then locates the problem artery, pushes the artery away from the nerve to relieve pressure and pain, and inserts a sterile pad to protect the nerve from further contact with the vessel. Read More

Craniotomy for Tumor – A craniotomy is a type of brain surgery that includes opening the skull, most often to remove a brain tumor. The patient’s head is shaved for the procedure, and the surgeon cuts out a piece of bone from the skull in order to gain access to the brain. Once all or part of the tumor has been removed, the opening in the skull is covered, typically with the same piece of bone. Read More

Chiari Decompression – An incision at the back of the neck allows the surgeon access to the base of the skull and the upper vertebrae. A bone and two vertebrae are removed, the spinal cord covering is cut and a patch is sewn in that allows for the free flow of spinal fluid. The procedure releases pressure on the spinal cord caused by the Chiari malformation, which provides relief to the patient. Read More 

Pituitary Surgery – Hypophysectomy, or hypophysis, is the surgical removal of the pituitary gland. Because the pituitary is located directly behind the nose, surgeons often access it through the nose or sinuses. For some cases, a craniotomy (opening of the skull) may be necessary. Read More

CSF Shunting – CSF shunts are considered the most effective way to relieve the skull of the excess CSF and therefore, pressure. The fluid is drained from the ventricles, or cavities, into another absorption site (such as the right atrium of the heart or the peritoneal cavity) through a series of catheters. Read More

Burr Hole Drainage – In this procedure, which can sometimes be performed under local anesthesia and mild sedation, the surgeon creates one or more holes in the skull to release the excess pressure caused by a blood clot on the brain. The scalp is numbed and a small incision is made. The fluid is then drained and the incision is closed. Read More

Lumbar & Thoracic Spine Procedures

Lumbar & Thoracic Microdiscectomy – Microdiscectomy is most commonly performed in the lumbar spine to relieve the pain that shoots down the leg. The surgeon will make an incision in the lower back about 1.5 inches long, gently part the soft tissues, place retractors to establish a surgical field and then use a high-speed drill and microscopic visualization to remove bone so that he can access the spinal canal. The herniated, or out of position, disc will be removed in order to decompress the nerve root. The healthy part of the disc will be left in place to continue to do its job. The retractors are removed and the skin is closed. Read More

Lumbar Posterior Spinal Fusion – As the name implies, spinal fusion involves fusing together two of more vertebrae. This surgical procedure uses bone grafts, as well as metal rods and screws. Read More

Interbody Fusion with Cage -Through various types of approaches, the damaged disc is removed, releasing the pressure on the affected nerve(s) and relieving the pain. The space created by removing the disc is replaced with bone graft material, sometimes through the use of interbody cages or rods. Read More

Lumbar Disc Arthroplasty – Total disc replacement involves completely removing a severely damaged or diseased disc and replacing it with metal and polyethylene implants. Read More

Extreme Lateral Approach – The procedure can often be done on an outpatient basis with two small incisions in the patient’s side. Part of the damaged disc is removed, and is replaced with a bone graft implant that eventually fuses into a solid bone bridge. Read More

Vertebroplasty – A minimally invasive procedure, vertebroplasty utilizes acrylic bone cement to fill in the spaces of a fractured vertebra. This process seeks to stabilize the spinal fracture, thereby eliminating the associated pain. Read More

Kyphoplasty – Kyphoplasty is a surgical procedure in which a doctor uses an inflated balloon to return a fractured vertebra to its original position. This process can alleviate pain, stabilize the bone and even restore lost body height resulting from compression fracture. Read More

Dorsal Column Stimulation / Spinal Cord Stimulator – For treating chronic or severe pain that originates in the nervous system, physicians may opt for an implantable medical device known as a Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) or Dorsal Column Stimulator (DCS). A surgical procedure places small electrical wires on the spinal cord, and a pulse generator is implanted in the side of the back, upper hip area, abdomen or buttocks. Read More

Intrathecal Pump Implant – A temporary system is implanted first, and if the pain is reduced, a permanent system may be implanted. The pump/catheter system delivers a small amount of medicine to the designated area of the spine, preventing pain signals from being perceived by the brain. Read More

Spinal Deformity Surgery – Treatment of spinal deformities is an area of special interest for Dr. Alsina. He is very experienced in caring for patients with conditions that cause the spine to misalign, and is especially passionate about this work. Read More