According to research from Georgetown University, nearly 65 million Americans have reported a recent episode of back pain. In fact, they also indicate that approximately 8% of Americans have chronic back pain problems. This causes…
Spinal tumors are abnormal masses of tissue that can be either benign or malignant, and they are found in the spine or in the spinal cord itself. The location and type of tumor can affect the symptoms and treatment options, which is why it’s important to talk with a doctor to figure out the best plan for you and your symptoms.
At Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, we understand that the diagnosis of a spinal tumor can be frightening. That’s why our experienced spine surgeons are here to provide compassionate care and expert treatment. We offer a comprehensive approach to treating spinal tumors, including both surgical and non-surgical treatments. In this article, we will discuss the different types of spinal tumors, the symptoms they cause, and the treatment options available.
The Different Types of Spinal Tumors
Types of spinal tumors depend on the location and what type of cells they originate from. For example, cervical tumors are located in the neck, while lumbar tumors are located in the lower back.
Primary spinal tumors originate in the spine and can be either benign or malignant. Benign tumors are non-cancerous and usually do not spread to other parts of the body. Malignant tumors, however, are cancerous and can spread to other parts of the body. Secondary spinal tumors are tumors that have spread from another part of the body, such as the lungs, breast, or prostate. These tumors are usually malignant and require aggressive treatment.
Aside from the area of the spine in which they are located, the type of tumor is defined by its location within the spine. There are three common types of spinal tumors:
- Intradural Spinal Tumors: This type of tumor is located in the outermost layer of the spinal cord, known as the dura mater.
- Extradural Spinal Tumors: This type of tumor is located outside the dura, usually between the vertebrae.
- Intramedullary-Extramedullary: This type of tumor is located in both the inner layer of the spinal cord and the outer layer of the spinal cord.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a potential spinal tumor, it’s imperative you reach out to a medical specialist as soon as possible to get the support and care you need.
Symptoms of Spinal Tumors
The symptoms of spinal tumors often depend on the location and type of tumor. While symptoms may vary from person to person, there are some common symptoms of spinal tumors. These symptoms may include:
Loss of Sensation, Weakness, Paralysis, or Decreased Sensitivity
Numbness, tingling, and decreased sensitivity to pain, heat, and cold may be a sign of nerve damage or compression. As the nerve roots are compressed, weakness in the arms or legs may develop.
Balance and Coordination Issues
As the tumor grows, it can affect the brain’s ability to coordinate movement, and this can cause balance and coordination issues. In some cases, diminished coordination can increase the risk of falls and fractures.
Bowel or Bladder Problems
In advanced cases, the tumor can cause compression of the spinal cord, which can lead to bladder or bowel problems.
The growth of the tumor can cause a spinal deformity, such as scoliosis. If this happens, it can affect the body’s posture, which can cause pain and other issues.
Diagnosis Procedures & Treatment Options
To properly diagnose a spinal tumor, your doctor will perform a physical exam and review your medical history. Imaging tests, such as an MRI, X-ray, or CT scan may be necessary to identify the exact location and size of the tumor.
In some cases, the doctor may order a biopsy or lumbar puncture, also known as a spinal tap, to collect cells from the tumor for further testing. Once the tumor is properly diagnosed, the doctor can recommend the best treatment option.
Treatment options for spinal tumors may include:
Surgery is the most common treatment for spinal tumors and is used to remove the tumor and alleviate symptoms. Depending on the type and size of the tumor, the surgeon may use open or minimally-invasive techniques to remove the mass.
As one of the most non-invasive treatments, chemotherapy uses drugs to target and destroy cancerous cells. It can be used as a primary treatment or in combination with other treatments, such as surgery.
Radiation therapy is another non-invasive treatment option that uses high-energy particles to target and destroy cancerous cells.
Pain management is an important aspect of treatment for spinal tumors. Pain medications, such as opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and muscle relaxants may be prescribed to help manage pain.
Discover Cutting-Edge Spinal Tumor Treatments at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery
Recovering from a spinal tumor is no easy task. That’s why our experienced spine surgeons are here to help you every step of the way. Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery offers a comprehensive approach to spinal tumor treatment, including both surgical and non-surgical treatments. Our state-of-the-art facilities and advanced technology allow us to provide the highest quality care to all of our patients.
Our team is here to answer any questions you may have and provide you with the comprehensive care you need. If you have been diagnosed with a spinal tumor, we invite you to contact us online or call us at (855) 853-6542 today to learn more about how we can help.