Making pediatric neurosurgery safer and easier

Advances in neurosurgery are changing lives every day. Children’s Minnesota is proud to lead the way, championing new approaches that make surgery safer and more effective.

For pediatric neurosurgery, that means investing in specialized technology like advanced brain mapping and intraoperative MRI — innovations that protect growing brains and spines. It also means providing a gentle brand of care that emphasizes comfort and helps kids bounce back faster after neurosurgery.

Caring for the full range of neurological conditions

With more than 600 neurosurgeries performed at Children’s each year, we’ve helped kids with just about every condition that affects the brain and nervous system. We routinely treat tumors, epilepsy and related conditions such as:

  • Acoustic neuroma — Slow growing tumor in the nerve that connects the ear to the brain
  • Arteriovenous malformation — An abnormal collection of vessels in the brain or spinal cord that is prone to bleed
  • Astrocytoma — Slow-growing brain and spinal cord tumor with star-shaped cells; a type of glioma
  • Brain and spinal cord tumors— Abnormal growths inside the skull or spinal canal that may be benign or cancerous
  • Cavernous malformation — An abnormal tangle of blood vessels in the brain or spinal cord that occasionally leaks slowly or bleeds
  • Chiari malformation — Condition in which part of the brain protrudes into the spinal canal
  • Craniofacial disorders — Malformations or injuries involving the bones of the face and skull
  • Craniopharyngiomas — Benign brain tumors that occur at the base of the brain and can affect vision and endocrine function
  • Craniosynostosis — Malformation that happens when the bones of the skull fuse too early
  • Dystonia — Sustained muscle contraction that causes abnormal movement or posture
  • Epilepsy — Repeated seizures due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain
  • Ependymomas — Slow-growing tumors of the lining of the spinal cord and brain that are usually noncancerous
  • Encephalocele — Birth defect in which the brain and its covering membranes stick out through an opening in the skull
  • Glioma — A tumor originating from the glial or supporting cells of the brain or spinal cord; may be benign or cancerous
  • Head trauma — Injury to the head and brain that causes damage, bleeding and/or swelling within the skull
  • Hydrocephalus — Excess cerebrospinal fluid in the fluid spaces of the brain
  • Hyperhidrosis — Sensitivity of the nervous system that causes excessive sweating; very rare in children
  • Intracranial hypotension — Leakage of fluid from the space around the brain often resulting in headaches
  • Medulloblastoma — Type of brain cancer that is most common in children and teens
  • Meningiomas — Tumors in the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord
  • Moyamoya — Disorder that causes constriction of the main arteries that deliver blood to the brain
  • Pituitary and neuroendocrine tumors — Abnormal growths in the pituitary gland or the cells that transmit information between the glands and nervous system
  • Scoliosis — Side-to-side curvature of the spine that often appears at puberty
  • Spina bifida — Occurs when the spinal cord and or bones of the spine do not develop fully before birth, potentially exposing a portion of the spinal cord
  • Spine and spinal cord trauma — Injury to the back that damages the spinal cord or nerves (or the protective bones surrounding them)
  • Syringomyelia — Fluid-filled cyst that forms in the spinal cord, occasionally associated with Chiari malformation
  • Tethered spinal cord syndrome — The spinal cord is “caught” in the spinal cavity and pulled too tight due to a tumor, spinal abnormality or other condition
  • Vertebral osteomyelitis — Fungal or bacterial infection of the spine, vertebral discs and/or the area around the spinal cord

Beyond neurosurgery: complete care for the whole child

Surgery is one element of treatment for complex neurological conditions. We also provide a full range of in-house medical specialties, from behavioral health to sleep disorders to rehabilitation.

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A seizure-free life

Children’s is the only epilepsy center in Minnesota using sEEG and Rosa Robot technology to pinpoint the origins of seizures — and eliminate them.