Now available: same day/week appointments for urgent and emergent neurosurgical conditions and evaluation. Call 502-588-2160 for an appointment.
The human nervous system is the crown jewel of evolution. Essential to the writing of every symphony, the running of every marathon and the vision of every technological advance in history, the brain and spinal cord literally make us think and act like human beings.
Injury, tumor, stroke or simply the natural aging process can affect your brain or spinal column. These conditions can cause limitations in your movement, speech, thought processes and memory and require treatment of both the underlying condition and the ongoing physical effects.
The team at UofL Physicians - Neurosurgery includes neurosurgeons who specialize in the surgical treatment of the brain and spine. These neurosurgeons partner with physiatrists to enhance and restore functional abilities after an illness or injury. We are committed to a holistic approach towards diagnosis, treatment and lifelong follow-up care.
The team at UofL Physicians – Neurosurgery consists of specialized neurosurgeons that are fellowship trained in areas such as cerebrovascular disease, brain and spine tumors, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, peripheral nerve disorders, epilepsy, Parkinson’s as well as many additional neurosurgical disorders. We specialize in minimally invasive surgery, which means smaller incisions, less pain and shorter recovery time for our patients. We provide world-class surgical expertise in a warm, caring environment.
Physical Medicine & Rehab
Our physical medicine and rehab doctors, or physiatrists, enhance and restore functional abilities after an illness or injury. We are committed to a holistic approach towards diagnosis, treatment and lifelong follow-up care.
Diseases & Conditions
Our neurosurgeons treat conditions such as:
- Spinal AVMs
- Cavernous carotid fistulas
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage
Brain and spine tumors
- Pituitary tumor
- Metastatic disease
- Colloid cysts
- Disc herniation and degenerative disc disease
- Back and leg pain
- Lumbar and cervical spinal stenosis
- Vertebral Compression Fractures
Movement and functional neurological disorders
- Parkinson’s Disease: See UofL Physicians – Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders page.
- Essential tremor
- Epilepsy: See UofL Physicians – Epilepsy Center page.
- Tic Douloureaux
- Chronic pain
As the only neurosurgeons practicing at the Region’s Level 1 Trauma Center, our surgeons are experts in the care of critically injured patients with:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic peripheral nerve conditions
- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
- Subdural and epidural hematoma
- Spine fractures
Peripheral Nerve Disorder
- Carpal and Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
- Traumatic peripheral nerve
- Brachial plexus
Congenital brain and spine disorders
- Chiari malformation
- Spinal dysraphism
- Cervical and thoracic syrinx
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Our physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors, also known as physiatrists, are the primary rehab physicians for the UofL Health – Frazier Rehabilitation Institute and provide therapy for patients with:
- Spinal cord injury
- Musculoskeletal pain such as low back pain and fibromyalgia
- Sports injury
For more information, visit UofL Physicians – Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.
Treatments & Services
UofL Physicians – Neurosurgery is committed to leading-edge treatments for our patients. We use the latest equipment and proven techniques including:
- Brain tumor resection
- Brain tumor biopsy
- Laser ablation for tumors and seizures
- Spine tumor resection
- Spinal deformity correction
- Spine surgery including minimally invasive spine techniques
- Stereotactic guidance for craniotomy and spine surgery
- Cardiopulmonary bypass for aneurysms
- Temporal lobectomy for epilepsy
- Deep brain stimulation
- Spinal cord stimulators and intrathecal pain pumps
- Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty for vertebral compression fracture
- Endoscopic Endonasal Surgery for tumors of the skull base
- WEB® Aneurysm Embolization System
- UofL Health – UofL Hospital
- UofL Health – Jewish Hospital
- UofL Health – Medical Centers
- Norton Hospitals
- Norton Children’s Hospital
- Clark Memorial Hospital
- Floyd Memorial Hospital
- Baptist Hospital East
- Robley Rex VA Medical Center
- Kindred Hospital
“Everyone with whom I was in contact was very professional, knowledgeable, seemed serious about doing a good job.”
“These doctors eased my pain that I have been putting up with for years. Thank you!”
“Each person I encountered at Frazier has been extremely kind and always treated me with a very positive attitude.”
“The entire staff was extremely professional, friendly, and courteous. They made for a very pleasant experience.”
“Nurse Kim is an excellent Nurse Practitioner. She is a very caring person. She always tries to answer any questions I may have.
“I can’t tell you how much it meant to get a fast, efficient and helpful group of people to work with regarding my needs/issues. Thank you so much.”
“Dr. Altstadt and his team were amazing. My experience was so much better than other providers in the Louisville area. Every single person I interacted with made me feel important and I genuinely felt like they cared for me and my pain. I’m relieved they focused on fixing the source of my pain, and not medicating me to mask the pain.”
Gregory Volz had been active his entire life. He served in the Navy, worked as an engineer, traveled around the world, taught high school and ran his own construction business. Not to mention, he also ran marathons in cities across the country. This all came to a sudden stop in the summer of 2018 while Volz was on a trip preparing for his next marathon. “I had my best run one week and the next I couldn’t run 3 miles. The drive home from Detroit was so uncomfortable. I knew right away something was wrong!”
Pain became a consistent issue for Volz through the fall. In early October, Volz tried to go back to the classroom to teach but the pain was so bad, he had to turn down the position. His left arm hurt so much that he had to stand and was not even able to lay down to sleep. He had weeks of sleepless nights where he would end up walking his neighborhood to help ease his frustration.
During this time, Volz visited a number of providers who really did not have a full answer to why Volz was in so much pain. They provided different treatments to try from steroid shots to physical therapy, but none of them seemed to help. “I was completely in despair,” said Volz.
Friends of Volz were really concerned so one of them suggested that he request an appointment with Thomas J. Altstadt, M.D., FAANS of UofL Physicians – Neurosurgery. It was near Halloween when Volz was able to get in to see Dr. Altstadt for a consult. “Right away, I suspected that Greg was suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome in both arms,” said Altstadt. “I recommended that Volz undergo an electromyography (EMG) that evaluates and records the electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles as soon as possible.” Volz had asked other physicians about this test previously, but they had put him off or told him there was a long waiting list for the test. Suddenly, he was glad that he had listened to his friends.
The EMG was scheduled later that week and with the results confirming it was carpal tunnel syndrome in both arms, Dr. Altstadt let Volz know he would need to have two surgeries. Since the pain was so severe, the first surgery for correcting Volz’s worst side – his left, was scheduled for the very next week. Immediately, after surgery, Volz felt relief. “I could not believe how much better I felt right away. It was amazing.” Surgery on his right side was scheduled for two weeks later when he would have his stitches out of his left hand. “Again, it was incredible how quickly I felt better,” said Volz.
Although the carpal tunnel issues were readily resolved, Volz’s fingers have remained a little numb on his left hand. The severe onset of polyarthritis in August, which was the probable cause of the carpal tunnel, continues to persist, but with some modification, Volz has been able to enjoy the new year. “I am so glad Dr. Altstadt was able to recognize my condition and help me right away. I feel like I have my life back thanks to him.”