A spinal tumor is a growth that develops in or around the spinal cord or surrounding bones, which may be cancerous or noncancerous and can lead to severe pain and even paralysis. Even noncancerous tumors may be of concern when they are found in the spinal cord because of its essential role in the function of the rest of the body.
Causes of Spinal Tumors
The specific cause of spinal tumors is unknown, although many are linked to genetic abnormalities and tend to run in families as well. Patients with neurofibromatosis 2 or Von Hippel-Lindau disease may be at a higher risk for developing spine tumors as well.
There are several different types of spine tumors that are classified by their location within the spine. Most spine tumors have spread from other areas of the body and spread to the vertebrae, the bones of the spine. These are known as extradural tumors. Other spine tumors may include intradural-extramedullary tumors or intramedullary tumors.
Symptoms of Spinal Tumors
Patients with a spinal tumor commonly experience pain in the middle or lower back as their primary symptom, which may also spread to the hips, legs, feet or arms. Some patients may also experience:
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty walking
- Decreased sensitivity to hot and cold
- Loss of bladder function
Despite treatment, these symptoms may become more severe over time as the tumor grows. Malignant tumors tend to grow much faster than benign tumors and should be treated in an efficient manner in order to prevent the cancer from spreading and causing permanent damage.
Treatment for Spinal Tumors
WARNING: If a patient or healthcare provider suspects a spinal tumor, neurosurgical evaluation is advised.
Treatment for a spinal tumor aims to completely eliminate the tumor without damaging the surrounding nerves. The best treatment for you depends on many factors, including the type and size of your tumor, your age and your overall health.
For many patients with benign tumors, regular monitoring may be all that is needed to ensure that the tumor is not growing at a rapid pace and not affecting nearby nerves. This treatment may be especially effective for older patients who may not be able to handle surgery or other treatments.
Cancerous tumors or those that press against nearby structures may be treated through a surgical procedure that removes most or all of the tumor. Radiation therapy may also be performed after surgery or on its own to remove any traces of the tumor that remain after surgery or to treat tumors that have spread to other areas of the body. Patients may experience nausea and vomiting as a side effect of radiation therapy.
At Princeton Neurological Surgery, Dr. Lipani is a board certified fellowship trained spine surgeon in New Jersey who performs minimally invasive spine surgery as well as complex spinal procedures. Dr. Lipani is a specialist in the treatment for spinal tumor and many other spinal conditions such as spinal stenosis, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, low back pain, neck pain, spinal tumors, spinal cancer and more. Dr. Lipani treats patients from around the world, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey including locally from Princeton, New Brunswick, Hopewell, Pennington and communities throughout Somerset, Middlesex, Ocean, Burlington, Monmouth and Mercer Counties for spinal tumor. Dr. Lipani offers image guided spine surgery approaches and the latest in noninvasive radiosurgery procedures for spinal tumor treatment, tailored to the needs of each patient. For state-of-the-art spinal tumor treatment, or to learn about CyberKnife radiosurgery, call or email us to schedule a consultation at our offices in Hamilton, New Jersey or Bridgewater, New Jersey!