Children's Neurosurgery

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Brain and Spinal Cord Trauma

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain, most often caused by a blow to the skull. TBI can be caused by an object that penetrates the skull and damages the brain or by a rapid movement of the head, during which the brain is bounced off the inside of the skull, or by loss of oxygen to the brain. In Mississippi, vehicle accidents lead in the cause of TBIs, followed by violence and falls. According to the Brain Injury Association of Mississippi, child abuse is the most common violent cause of TBI in infants and toddlers.

A spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to the spinal cord resulting in loss of sensation (feeling) and motor control (movement). The extent of damage depends on the level of spinal cord injury. About 145 Mississippians are hospitalized each year for spinal cord injury; more than half are 16-30 years old. Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of SCIs in our state, followed by violence, falls, and sporting/recreational accidents. According to the Brain Injury Association of Mississippi, more than 95 percent of all traumatic spinal cord injuries are preventable.

The Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States estimates that about 4,300 children are diagnosed with brain tumors each year. Brain tumors are the most common solid tumors in children, and surgery is usually the most effective first line of treatment.

Although spinal cord tumors in children were largely viewed as inoperable until recently, many such tumors may now be safely removed using modern microsurgical instruments, image-guided surgical navigation, intraoperative ultrasound, and electrophysiologic monitoring.

The Children's of Mississippi pediatric neurosurgery team is part of the state's only academic medical center. Children and families learning how to understand and cope with big medical decisions can find the right-sized care right here, in Mississippi.