There are several sources of spine tumors, and treatment and removal will depend on the cause and type of neoplasm in each patient. Tumors that originate in the spine (primary tumors) are fairly uncommon and usually slow growing and benign. Therefore, these types of growths may not necessarily require aggressive treatment, such as spine surgery, or full tumor removal. Treatment for metastatic spine tumors (which have spread from another part of the body as the result of a cancer diagnosis) depends on the location of the original neoplasm and the severity of the patient’s condition.
Spine Tumor Removal
Spinal tumors come in many shapes and sizes, and not all tumors are necessarily dangerous or malignant (cancerous). Dr. Khurana evaluates and treats each patient individually to find the best treatment option. neoplasms behave differently and can be unpredictable, and treatment will depend on the complexity, source, and type of neoplasms.
Types of Tumors
Vertebral Column Tumors – Vertebral column neoplasms grow from the bone (vertebrae) or discs in the spine. Known as primary tumors when they originate in the spine, they can be rare and slow-growing. Neoplasms that metastasize (spread) from cancer in another part of the body are usually the result of breast or lung cancer in women, and prostate and lung cancer in men.
Intradural-Extramedullary Tumors – Intradural-extramedullary neoplasms grows inside the spinal canal but outside of the nerves. They tend to be benign and slow-growing but can cause pain and weakness.
Meningiomas – Meningiomas are neoplasms that occur in the membrane. They can be either benign or malignant (cancerous).
Nerve sheath tumors – Nerve sheath neoplasm grow in the nerve roots of the spinal cord. They are usually benign and slow-growing, with no visible symptoms for years.
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Common Symptoms of Spinal Growths
Not all tumors are cancerous and some may not produce noticeable symptoms or problems for long stretches of time. Any instances of chronic back pain or neurological symptoms should be brought to the attention of an orthopedic spine surgeon for proper diagnosis and evaluation.
- Pain in the back, neck and extremities
- Muscle pain and weakness
- Difficulty walking
- Loss of sensation
- Partial to severe paralysis
- Spinal deformity
- Difficulty standing
Dr. Khurana will take a detailed medical history and evaluate each patient to determine the appropriate treatment option and recovery plan for their condition.
A full evaluation typically includes:
- Complete medical history
- Complete physical exam
- Complete neurological exam
- Radiography – spine, chest, and GI tract to check for additional abnormal growths
- CAT scan
Tumor Excision and Reconstruction
Treatment for spine tumors will depend on the type of neoplasm and severity of the symptoms. For vertebral column tumors, the typical treatment plan usually involves pain management, relieving pressure on nerve roots, alleviating pressure on the spinal cord to control neurological symptoms, and spinal fusion reconstructive surgery to repair spinal instability.
Intradural-extramedullary and intramedullary tumors may be surgically removed. Treatment of malignant neoplasms will depend on the type and origin of the cancer, and the patient’s overall health.
Sanjay Khurana, MD is a board certified orthopedic spine surgeon specializing in minimally invasive and robotic spine surgery techniques for back surgery and reconstruction. Contact the Los Angeles Spine Group today to schedule an appointment 310.574.0400, or make a reservation online.
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