expert type icon EXPERT

Dr. Shon William Cook, MD

Neurosurgeon

Dr. Shon Cook practices Neurological Surgery in Oklahoma City, OK. As a Neurological Surgeon, Dr. Cook prevents, diagnoses, evaluates, and treats disorders of the autonomic, peripheral, and central nervous systems. Neurological Surgeons are trained to treat such disorders as spinal canal stenosis, herniated discs, tumors, fractures, and spinal deformities, among many others.
27 years Experience
Dr. Shon William Cook, MD
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Brown University
  • Accepting new patients

What is the success rate of surgery for spinal stenosis?

Well, first, I have to know what you need surgery for. We don't do surgery for spinal stenosis. If you have leg pain from nerve root compression (radiculopathy), or your legs READ MORE
Well, first, I have to know what you need surgery for. We don't do surgery for spinal stenosis. If you have leg pain from nerve root compression (radiculopathy), or your legs get weak and give out when you stand or walk from nerve compression (claudication), those symptoms can be alleviated with surgery to decompress the nerves. I do it minimally invasively so patients go home a few hours after surgery, and most are back to work in less than a week. By "success rate", I'm assuming you mean how likely is it that your symptoms will get better, because surgery is always 100% successful at taking the pressure off of the nerves. The success rate depends entirely on how much damage was done to the nerves before you had surgery. The more the nerves are damaged before surgery, the less likely you are to have improvement of the pain or neurologic function after surgery. If your nerves are compressed and you are losing function, then that will continue to get worse and worse without surgery. So the chance of feeling better with surgery is much better than the chance of feeling better without it. Hope that helps.

Does ulnar nerve surgery work?

It depends entirely on what you are having surgery on your ulnar nerve. If you have pain or tingling in your pinky and ring finger, or weakness of your hand, and it is because READ MORE
It depends entirely on what you are having surgery on your ulnar nerve. If you have pain or tingling in your pinky and ring finger, or weakness of your hand, and it is because of conduction loss across the elbow due to entrapment of the ulnar nerve, then yes, decompression of the nerve at the elbow works really well. There are no activity restrictions after surgery, so people have full use of their arm immediately after surgery, and can go back to work the next day. Whether your symptoms go away or not depends entirely on how damaged the nerve was before surgery. The more severe, the conduction loss, and the longer the symptoms have gone on, the less likely you are to feel better after surgery, and the longer it will take to feel better.

Can you drive after ulnar nerve surgery?

If you mean an ulnar nerve decompression at the elbow, which is the most common ulnar nerve surgery, yes you can. There should be no activity restrictions after that surgery. READ MORE
If you mean an ulnar nerve decompression at the elbow, which is the most common ulnar nerve surgery, yes you can. There should be no activity restrictions after that surgery. My patients are able to return to work the next day with full use of their arm.

Do I need a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon for back problems?

If you have already seen all of the specialists that treat back problems without surgery, and nothing has worked so far, and surgery is now your only option remaining, you need READ MORE
If you have already seen all of the specialists that treat back problems without surgery, and nothing has worked so far, and surgery is now your only option remaining, you need to see a spine surgeon. It does not matter whether it is a neurosurgeon, as all neurosurgeons operate on the spine, or an orthopedic surgeon that did additional training in spine surgery.

Do brain tumors always need to be surgically removed?

No. Only tumors that are growing or causing neurologic deficits need to be treated. Some small tumors of certain cell types can be treated with radiation or chemotherapy. Others READ MORE
No. Only tumors that are growing or causing neurologic deficits need to be treated. Some small tumors of certain cell types can be treated with radiation or chemotherapy. Others have to be removed surgically. Tumors do not cause migraines. Tumors can cause headaches by dural irritation or by increasing intracranial pressure, but they do not cause migraines. The reason the surgeon chose to remove the tumor had nothing to do with any migraines he had.

Do spinal injuries eventually need surgery?

No. Surgery is only necessary for neurologic deficits from nerve/spinal cord compression, or pain with movement from instability that does not heal with nonsurgical treatment. READ MORE
No. Surgery is only necessary for neurologic deficits from nerve/spinal cord compression, or pain with movement from instability that does not heal with nonsurgical treatment. If you don't have one of those, then surgery is not necessary.

Does a tumor always need surgery to be removed?

It depends entirely on the type of tumor. Some cell types respond to chemotherapy, and others don't.

I underwent a brain surgery and now I have numbness in my hands.

It's not from the surgery. It may be from whatever you had the surgery for, as you didn't include what brain surgery you had or why you had it. It could also be from any number READ MORE
It's not from the surgery. It may be from whatever you had the surgery for, as you didn't include what brain surgery you had or why you had it. It could also be from any number of other things unrelated to your brain. I would bring it up to your doctor if it continues.

Does brain surgery correct eye problems?

It depends on whether the tumor is causing your symptoms or not. If it is unrelated, without knowing the size or location of the tumor, I cannot tell you whether it would be causing READ MORE
It depends on whether the tumor is causing your symptoms or not. If it is unrelated, without knowing the size or location of the tumor, I cannot tell you whether it would be causing those symptoms or not. Even if it is, they may or may not resolve if the tumor is removed, depending on whether the affected brain or nerves have been permanently damaged already or not. This is a question best answered by your treating physician that can see your images and knows your exam.

Can a brain surgery cause speech defects?

It depends. If the surgery involved one of the speech areas of the brain, then yes it could have. Without knowing what surgery he had, and what it was done for, and where the READ MORE
It depends. If the surgery involved one of the speech areas of the brain, then yes it could have. Without knowing what surgery he had, and what it was done for, and where the surgery was in his brain, I can't really answer whether it can be corrected or not.

My brother is suffering slight speech loss after an operation. Will he recover?

I'm not sure why you were told 3 weeks. He may be back to normal in a few days, or 3 weeks, or he may never get back to normal. You won't really know how he will ultimately end READ MORE
I'm not sure why you were told 3 weeks. He may be back to normal in a few days, or 3 weeks, or he may never get back to normal. You won't really know how he will ultimately end up for up to about 2 years. At that point, you can pretty much bet that's as good as he's going to get. Until then, the harder he works at rehab, the better he will do.

I am due for back surgery. Should I be doing any preparations before the surgery?

"Back surgery" is not specific enough to know what you are going to have done. "Back surgery" could mean a minimally invasive outpatient discectomy, or a multilevel scoliosis READ MORE
"Back surgery" is not specific enough to know what you are going to have done. "Back surgery" could mean a minimally invasive outpatient discectomy, or a multilevel scoliosis correction and fusion. I can tell you that no matter what surgery you have, the better shape you are in before surgery, the faster you will recover and the easier it will be. So exercise, lose weight if necessary, and stop smoking if you do.

Are all tumors cancerous?

In the brain, it doesn't matter. Brain tumors kill people by crushing or destroying important structures of the brain. Calling them cancer, or benign, or malignant, is really READ MORE
In the brain, it doesn't matter. Brain tumors kill people by crushing or destroying important structures of the brain. Calling them cancer, or benign, or malignant, is really irrelevant to the treatment or the prognosis. The decision to treat a tumor in the brain depends on its size, location, growth rate, and ultimately tissue type. If it does need to be treated because it is growing or causing symptoms, then a tissue diagnosis will be obtained at the time of surgery to determine whether any further treatment is necessary after surgery.

My wife had surgery for removal of a brain tumor and six months later is again feeling dizzy. What could be wrong?

It could be any number of things, related to the surgery or not. She should start with her primary care doctor and go from there.

Can a blood clot in the brain be removed with medication alone?

This question is unfortunately not specific enough to answer it reliably in a way that would be applicable to you specifically. Options for blood clots within the substance of READ MORE
This question is unfortunately not specific enough to answer it reliably in a way that would be applicable to you specifically. Options for blood clots within the substance of the brain (intraparenchymal) include doing nothing and allowing it to absorb on its own, tPA infusion through a catheter placed into your brain, and either endoscopic or open surgery. Each option has its own risks and benefits. Without knowing your particular neurologic exam, and without seeing your particular imaging, it is impossible to have a rational discussion of the pros and cons of each option, and which would be best for you. It is a discussion your neurologist and/or neurosurgeon would have with you.

My mother has a blot clot in the right side of her brain. Is surgery the only option to remove it?

This question is unfortunately not specific enough to answer it reliably in a way that would be applicable to your mother specifically. Options for blood clots within the substance READ MORE
This question is unfortunately not specific enough to answer it reliably in a way that would be applicable to your mother specifically. Options for blood clots within the substance of the brain (intraparenchymal) include doing nothing and allowing it to absorb on its own, tPA infusion through a catheter placed into the brain in the ICU, and either endoscopic or open surgery. Each option has its own risks and benefits. Without knowing your mother's particular neurologic exam, and without seeing your mother's particular imaging, it is impossible to have a rational discussion of the pros and cons of each option, and which would be best for her. It is a discussion your neurologist and/or neurosurgeon would have with you.

How long should a skull fracture take to heal?

If it needed surgery, I assume it was either open and contaminated, or it was depressed enough to be compressing the underlying brain. If that is the case, surgery took care of READ MORE
If it needed surgery, I assume it was either open and contaminated, or it was depressed enough to be compressing the underlying brain. If that is the case, surgery took care of the problem. There is nothing that needs to heal now except the incision, which will heal like any skin wound. Your dad's surgeon is the best person to ask about your dad specifically, as only the person that was there during surgery can say specifically what to expect after that specific surgery.

Is there a cure for meningioma?

Yes. The cure is complete removal. Sometimes that is possible, and sometimes it isn't if it has invaded structures that can not be removed without catastrophic consequences. READ MORE
Yes. The cure is complete removal. Sometimes that is possible, and sometimes it isn't if it has invaded structures that can not be removed without catastrophic consequences. If it is growing, or if it is causing a neurologic deficit, or it is causing seizures that can not be controlled with medicine, then it should be removed. Even if it can not be completely removed, the vast majority can be removed, and then it can be followed with imaging for several years and treated with radiation if it starts to grow back. If it grows after radiation, and gets big enough to cause problems again, it can be removed again. Almost all of my meningioma patients go the morning after surgery with an incision that is completely hidden by their hair. Most are back to work in a few days and nobody can tell they had surgery.

Can laser treatment help spinal stenosis?

I'm not sure how to answer this without talking to him, examining him, and looking at his MRI. There are a lot of things to address here. First, spinal stenosis only needs to READ MORE
I'm not sure how to answer this without talking to him, examining him, and looking at his MRI. There are a lot of things to address here. First, spinal stenosis only needs to be treated if the cauda equina is compressed and you have claudication symptoms. Otherwise, spinal stenosis is irrelevant and does not need to be treated. Second, there is no "laser treatment" for the spine. Lasers are used in surgery for tissue removal and cautery. If your father has neurologic deficits from nerve compression in the spine, then the treatment for that is to decompress the nerves. The laser can be used, but it does not make the surgery any safer or the recovery any shorter. There is no reason to use the laser in the spine. I routinely decompress the cauda equina for patients with neurogenic claudication through a 2 cm incision as an outpatient. I did it twice yesterday. Everybody goes home the day of surgery, and most are back to work in less than a week. If he has any instability where the stenosis is, then he would need a fusion at the same time, which would increase his recovery time, but that is a different topic.