Movement Disorder Surgery

Movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease, Dystonia and Essential Tremor may cause significant disability for adults and interfere with their everyday activities. While medications can be very effective for controlling symptoms, patients may discover that it’s difficult to maintain consistent control of their symptoms. Surgery is another viable option for patients seeking to manage their movement disorder. Although surgery is not a cure, patients may experience an improvement in their quality of life and resume daily activities.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive movement disorder that affects brain cells that produce the chemical dopamine.  These brain cells are located in the basal ganglia which influences or regulates movement.  People who are affected by Parkinson’s disease have tremor, slowness in their movements and stiffness.  They have trouble walking.  Balance can be affected and they can fall.  There are other non-motor symptoms that are present as well including depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, constipation and a reduction in the sense of smell.  Treatment with medications, exercise and sometimes surgery such as with Deep Brain Stimulation can be helpful for those with Parkinson’s disease.

Tremors

Tremors can be disabling interfering with daily activities such as eating, pouring liquid, shaving or applying makeup.  Many times tremors can be treated with medications and surgery such as Deep Brain Stimulation can be performed to allow for a better quality of life.

Dystonia

Dystonia is a neurological condition producing abnormal, prolonged twisted postures.  It can affect skeletal muscle and can occur in the eyes with eye closure as in blepharospasm, facial muscles and the neck as in cervical dystonia, trunk or extremities.  Sometimes it can affect the entire body.  Patients with dystonia can be severely disabled or very mildly affected.  This condition can be very painful.  Unfortunately, medications do not usually treat dystonia very well.

Loma Linda’s Department of Neurosurgery is staffed with experienced neurosurgeons trained in a variety of surgical treatments to improve and eliminate movement disorder symptoms. The Department offers a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach that utilizes the expertise of both our neurosurgeons and other specialists including Movement Disorder Neurologists and Rehabilitation Physicians. This approach allows our neurosurgeons to determine the best treatment strategy based on an individual’s needs.

In addition, our neurosurgeons  specialize in deep brain stimulation (DBS), which is an essential option for patients with movement disorders who do not respond to medication or have inconsistent control of their symptoms.

Our expert team of neurosurgeons offers consultation to thoroughly review patients’ medical histories and diagnostic data in order to carefully select patients for potential surgery.