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Spinal Tumors

What are Spinal Tumors?

Spinal tumors and spinal cord tumors are growths within the spine that may be benign or malignant. Like most cancers, the cause can be either genetic, environmental or the result of another cancer within the body that has spread. One of the most common causes of cancers within the spine are cancers such as lung, breast or prostate cancer that metastasize into the bones and vertebrae of the spine.

There are various types of cancers that can occur within the spine and are typically classified by where in the spine they occur. Some tumors may compress the spinal cord and spinal nerves and cause neurological impairments or symptoms.

  • Intramedullary Tumors. Tumors that occur within the spinal cord itself (gliomas, astrocytomas or ependymomas).
  • Extramedullary Tumors. Tumors that occur within the membrane that surrounds the spine or the nerve roots that exit the spine (meningiomas, neurofibromas, schwannomas and nerve sheath tumors).

The specific type of tumor is determined based on the cells that make up the tumor and other factors. Common types of spinal tumors include:

  • Astrocytoma
  • Chordoma
  • Ependymoma
  • Glioma
  • Meningioma
  • Neurofibroma
  • Schwannoma

The symptoms of a tumor within the spine can vary based on the location and type of tumor and some may cause no symptoms at all.
If you have a tumor within the spine the symptoms can include:

  • Back or neck pain
  • Pain that radiates into the extremities
  • Pain that is worse at night
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Loss of sensitivity to cold or heat
  • Bowel or bladder control issues
  • Loss of muscle control in the extremities

How are Spinal Tumors Treated at The Spine Institute of Louisiana?

If the tumor is benign, your Spine Institute of Louisiana Spine Specialist may recommend monitoring the tumor with regular MRI’s.

If the tumor begins to compress the spinal cord, there are a number of surgical treatment options to remove the tumor based on the size and location of the tumor. The goal of these procedures is to safely remove the tumor while ensuring that no other spinal structures are compromised during surgery.

Radiation Therapy may be considered if your Spine Institute of Louisiana Spine Surgeon determines that surgery may harm other areas of the spine or if the tumor is inoperable.

Chemotherapy may also be used for specific types of tumors. Chemotherapy uses specific drugs to destroy the cancer cells and stop them from growing.

Your Spine Institute of Louisiana Spine Surgeon will discuss all treatment options with you to determine the most effective option based on your specific type of tumor.

Make an Appointment with a Spine Institute of Louisiana Spine Specialist Today

If you have been experiencing symptoms of spinal tumors or spinal cord tumors, schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Spine Surgeons.
We will evaluate your unique lifestyle and goals to determine which type of surgery is best for you.

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The Spine Institute of Louisiana physicians recognize that medicine is a service profession and as such believe that the health and healing of patients must come first.  We feel that each and every patient should be treated in a respectful and compassionate manner as we strive to seek solutions that will improve the quality of our patients' lives.  Our philosophy is to provide quality patient care using innovative and minimally invasive technologies in a manner that offers convenience, and a continuum of care that routinely sets the mark higher than the accepted standard of care for the area.

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