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Brain and Spine Injury

The Brain and Spine Injury Program consists of a number of programs developed to better understand and treat the problems associated with traumatic injury to the central nervous system, brain and spinal cord, in both adults and children. The department’s clinical neurotrauma division leads the treatment of and research into traumatic brain injury.

The Department of Neurosurgery is a major component of New Mexico’s only Level 1 trauma center, providing state-of-the-art care for a diverse and seemingly endless variety of injuries that come to UNM Hospital (UNMH) for care. Complex cranial and spine injuries are cared for on a daily basis as a constant part of our clinical service. The 24-bed neuro-intensive care unit is a major reason why we can provide excellent care to such a large number of patients. 

A dedicated staff of neuro-focused nurses and critical care medicine doctors along with eight neurosurgical faculty are the key to this essential program. The neurotrauma service works closely with colleagues from the Trauma Division, Critical Care Medicine, Neurophysiology, Neuroradiology and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to provide the best of care to persons suffering from traumatic brain injury. 

Spine Injury

When direct spine surgery is indicated, our first choice is to pursue a minimally invasive approach.  Our center is uniquely equipped to perform endoscopic surgery under local anesthesia as an optimum treatment for a number of spine disorders.  This technology and training to use it is based upon a gift from Dr. Anthony Yeung, who originated endoscopic spine surgery.  All other aspects of minimally invasive surgery are part of our standard approaches.  The comprehensive spine program provides services at UNM Hospital and at the Yeung Endoscopic Spine Center at UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center. The team’s expertise includes:

  • Traumatic Spine and Spinal Cord Injury – provides all aspects of acute care and stabilization.
  • Cervical and Lumbar Decompression for Stenosis – Degenerative spine. Traditional and minimally invasive spine decompression
  • Malignancy – Primary and metastatic spine tumor. Decompression, stabilization and radiosurgery.

Traumatic Brain Injury

The neurosurgery service at UNM Hospital, New Mexico’s only Level I trauma center, cares for the full range of traumatic brain injuries, including:

  • Concussion – Neuropsychological intervention
  • Acute Traumatic Brain Injury – Emergency surgery and neurocritical care
  • Spine Trauma – Spine reconstruction and rehabilitation