Tumors of the spine are usually metastatic, meaning they originate from a primary tumor elsewhere in the body and spread to the spine via the lymph nodes or bloodstream. Tumors can grow into the spinal cord causing neurological problems. In addition, tumors may destroy vertebral bodies causing collapse and thus, local or radiating pain.
- Back pain caused by destroyed bone
- Radiating leg pain or weakness
- Neurological problems
- Growth of a primary tumor in a vertebral body
- Spread of distant primary organ tumors to the spine
- Growth of tumors into spinal canal
- Collapse of vertebral bodies causing nerve pressure
Possible Treatment Options
Non Operative Treatment
Chemotherapy and radiation are sometimes needed. Surgery can be considered for those who do not improve.
Anterior Vertebral Body Replacement
Surgical instruments are used to remove tumor and affected vertebrae. Once the tumor is removed, a metal implant is inserted to provide stability and replace the void caused by the removed tumor.
Laminectomy and Instrumentation
Performed when a tumor has spread to the spine and is pushing on the spinal cord. The laminectomy removes a portion of the bone pushing on the nerves or spinal cord causing pain. Instrumentation is often used to provide additional stability.
For more information on Tumors of the Spine, visit Understand Spine Surgery.