Dr Norman Ma


Dr Norman Ma is a neurosurgeon with specialist skills in the surgical treatment of both adult and paediatric brain and spine.

Born in Hong Kong before growing up in New Zealand, Dr Ma completed his undergraduate medical degree at the University of Auckland. He completed his advance neurosurgery training having worked in Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland and Christchurch.

On completion of his neurosurgical training, he undertook two further post-graduate fellowships in paediatric and functional neurosurgery. He completed the paediatric neurosurgical fellowship at the Mater Children’s Hospital before undertaking a prestigious functional fellowship in movement disorders and pain at Southmead Hospital, Bristol, United Kingdom.

Dr Ma now works as a neurosurgical consultant specialist at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. He also works as a specialist paediatric neurosurgeon at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital as a Visiting Medical Officer.

He has a special interest in research and teaching, working closely with the University of Queensland and is currently completing a Masters in Philosophy in neonatal research at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research.

His neurosurgical practice covers a broad range of both adult and paediatric neurosurgery with particular subspecialty interest in:

  • Cranial Surgery
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Functional neurosurgery- particularly movement disorders
  • Pain Surgery
  • Paediatric neurosurgery
  • Endoscopic neurosurgery
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Spinal surgery
  • All
  • Brain Conditions
  • Case Studies
  • Craniofacial Conditions
  • Craniofacial Treatment
  • Spine Conditions

Microvascular Decompression of the Trigeminal Nerve

Case presentation: A 63 year-old woman presented with a 10-year history of left sided facial pain. Pain was described as over the left maxilla with radiation to the left eye and over the left side of the head. The severe pain was intermittent and described as sharp, shooting and electrical like in nature. It was aggravated by, brushing her teeth, touching her face, eating, drinking, and cold wind. She had […]

Occipital Neuralgia

Occipital neuralgia is a painful condition characterised by pain originating in the upper neck and back of the head. It radiates from the sub-occipital region over the top or side of the head and behind the eyes. Pain is described as paroxysmal shooting or stabbing in the dermatomes corresponding to the lesser and greater occipital nerves. Hypo- or dysaesthesia in the affected area can accompany the pain. The main symptom […]

Chiari Malformations: A Curious Pathology

Chiari malformation (CIM) presents an interesting pathology, affecting both children and adults. It is described as a downward displacement of the cerebellar tonsils through the foramen magnum (Fig 1). This downward displacement of the cerebellar tonsils (more than 5-7mm below the foramen magnum) is the primary cause of signs and symptoms observed. This herniation can be a result of congenital or acquired malformations. There are several theories yet to be […]

Trigeminal Neuralgia: Current Treatment Strategies

Trigeminal neuralgia (aka tic douloureux or Fothergill disease) can be extremely difficult to manage and can cause significant distress for patients with craniofacial pain. In this article, we will explore current treatment strategies to assist in treating patients with severe trigeminal neuralgia (TN). TN is characterised by paroxysmal excruciating, electric like pain lasting a few seconds to minutes. It is often triggered by sensory stimulus: shaving, talking, eating, drinking, washing, […]