Surgical Treatment for Spinal Tumor
Spinal tumor malignant or not can cause permanent disability. Using advanced microsurgery techniques and radiosurgery, neurosurgeons can safely, partially or completely, remove spinal tumors. The microscopic surgical equipment allows surgeons to distinguish healthy tissues from tumor, minimizing neurological damage. In some cases spine stabilization is necessary following surgery. With extensive tumor growth, patients may require more than one surgery to remove tumor tissue, and reduce pain and symptoms caused by the tumor. The treatment for most spinal tumors is surgical removal, partial or total, and in some metastatic cases, radiation therapy is used, in conjunction with or exclusively, to significantly reduce pain.
Spinal Tumor Types
There are three types of spinal tumors that can be treated by neurosurgery.
- Vertebral Column Tumors – These cancers involve the bony vertebral column and are usually metastatic.
- Intradural-extramedullary Tumors – Meningiomas, located in the thin tissue layer covering the spinal cord and are usually benign. Nerve sheath tumors arise from the nerve roots off the spinal and are also usually benign. Tumors located at the base of the spinal cord are usually large and attached to a multitude of spinal nerves, making complete removal difficult.
- Intramedullary Tumors – These tumors most often develop usually within the cervical spinal cord or individual spinal nerves and are usually benign.
Spinal Tumor Symptoms
Symptoms often include neck and back pain, arm or leg weakness or numbness, and change in bowel or bladder habits.