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Spinal Tumors

A spinal tumor is an unusual mass of tissue that develops within your spinal canal or within the bones of your spine. These cells grow and multiply uncontrollably, seemingly unchecked by the mechanisms that control normal cells. Spinal tumors are of two types – Benign (Non-Cancerous) and Malignant (Cancerous). Generally spinal tumors are cancerous in nature. Spinal tumors are further classified into two types which are as follows-

  1. Intra Dural – Tumors which begins with spinal cord or its outer layer/covering
  2. Vertebral – Tumors which affects the bones of the spine

Spinal Tumors

Indications for Spinal Tumor

The commonly known causes and symptoms for Spinal Tumors are listed below. One should go and consult a Neuron-Spine doctor in case of;

  • Back pain or Neck Pain radiating to other parts of the body
  • Pain at tumor site due to the growth of Tumor
  • Low sensation to pain, heat and cold
  • Loss of Bowel or Bladder functions
  • Difficulty in walking, sometimes may lead to falls
  • A person may undergo Muscular dysfunctions like Paralysis
  • A person may suffer from different spinal deformities relating to the spinal cord
Spine Tumor Treatment in India

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This surgery is to remove the entire tumor or part of it done depending upon several factors, the spinal tumor can be debunked (make smaller), excised (complete removal), or resected (partial removal). These types of procedures decompress or relieve pressure to the spinal cord and nerve roots, thereby helping to reduce pain and other symptoms.

An interventional technique, usually performed by a radiologist, that slows or cuts off the tumor’s blood supply. Remobilization (embolotherapy) causes the tumor to shrink.

A spinal tumor that develops within or invades (metastasize, spread) a vertebra may cause bony compression or fracture. Thus, Kyphoplasty or Vertebroplasty can be recommended in such cases. These procedures involve injection of a surgical bone cement into the fracture site so to provide immediate fracture stabilization.

This is a non-surgical procedure that delivers precisely targeted radiation to treat certain spine tumors. Radio surgery treatment is administered during one or more sessions using high-dose of radiation. This treatment does not immediately remove the tumor like surgery. Rather, the tumor disappears with time.

Spinal stabilization, or spinal immobilization, is necessary for patients who suffer from a great deal of instability in their spine. This instability can be caused by a number of things, including trauma, injury, degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, kyphosis and more. The degree of stabilization necessary will depend on the severity of the condition and the surgeon’s assessment.

Treatment procedures for Spinal Tumors

Common Investigations for Spinal Tumors

  1. Spinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): MRI uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to produce accurate images of your spine, spinal cord and nerves. MRI is usually the preferred test to diagnose tumors of the spinal cord and surrounding tissues. A contrast agent that helps highlight certain tissues and structures may be injected into a vein in your hand or forearm during the test.
  2. Computerized tomography (CT): This test uses a narrow beam of radiation to produce detailed images of your spine. But a CT scan is rarely used to help diagnose spinal tumors.
  3. Biopsy: The only way to determine the exact type of a spinal tumor is to examine a small tissue sample (biopsy) under a microscope. The biopsy results will help determine treatment options.

Expected Results

The results or recovery totally depends on the age and health conditions of the patient, and whether the tumor is primary, metastatic, benign or malignant. The primary goal of the Spinal tumor surgery is to remove the threats and provide the potential cure of the malignancy. In the case of metastatic tumors, the goal is almost always palliative, with treatment aimed at providing the patient with an improved quality of life and possibly prolonged life expectancy.

Intradural extramedullary tumors detected by MRI are mostly benign and good clinical results can be obtained when treated surgically.

Furthermore, if the patient is old aged things may take time to recover and vice versa for young patients. Better results can also be derived by the inpatient rehabilitations like physiotherapy, general exercises depending on the body and muscular conditions of the patients.

Recovery Timeline

Surgical removal is the primary treatment for spinal tumors. However, recovery from the spinal cord tumor surgeries depends on several factors. Those are

  • Pre-operative Neurological Conditions- Recuperation for persons undergoing certain neurological issues such as weakness or balance difficulties are unpredictable and may take several months to recover. Since surgeries helps to eliminate the risks, it should also be noted that natural disabilities will take some time to cure.
  • Post-Operative Conditions- The surgical intervention can eliminate the risks of having spinal tumors. Post-surgery, the expected time for recovery would be approximately three to four weeks irrespective of the type of tumors. Constant follow up with and medications can improve the conditions and yield results in a minimum period for spinal stability
Treatment cost

Cost for Spine Tumor Treatment in India

  • The cost of Spine Tumor Surgery in India ranges between USD 4800 to USD 8000
  • Depending on cancer tissue type, the success rate of the surgery is 85-90%
  • The stay in hospital is of around 4 days and 8 days outside the hospital
  • Tests required prior the surgery include Blood Tests, X-ray and MRIs

Frequently Asked Questions and patient concerns:

1. What warning signs do they present?

Individuals with spinal tumors will not know that they are suffering from irregular growth until their spinal functions begin to be affected. As a spinal tumor develops, for example, the risk that it might press on a nerve increase. This pressure can then influence functions that are regulated by certain nerve cells. Spinal tumors may impair motor co-ordination in some cases. There can also be muscle numbness and back pain.

2. How can spine specialists treat spinal tumors?

The type of treatment for spinal tumors depends on whether and where they are found in the spinal cord and whether they are malignant or benign. In certain cases, only oral medication can be needed to reduce spinal development. However, if the tumors do not respond to conservative treatment steps, spine experts can determine that the next choice for surgery is to maintain function in the affected areas and prevent further growth of the tumor.

3. How can I tell if my back pain is a spinal tumor?

Some of the signs are similar to other spinal conditions of a back or neck tumor. Worth noting that it is a rare condition for a spinal tumor, so do not worry. The most widespread symptom is non-mechanical back or neck pain. This form of pain is continuous, is not activity-related, and lying down or resting does not alleviate it. Sciatica, gradual numbness or fatigue, fever, partial paralysis, or bowel and bladder dysfunction are additional symptoms that may be associated with a tumor. If you have inflammation of the bowel or bladder seek urgent medical attention.

4. If I undergo radiation therapy, will I be radioactive?

Many radiation therapy patients undergo external radiation therapy that does not make them radioactive. Many a times, such a treatment is also considered an outpatient procedure.

5. I was told to expect pain after radiation therapy. Why would that happen?

Following radiation therapy, many patients experience increased pain or discomfort, but the pain is temporary. As treatment affects tumor cells, radiation therapy can induce tissue inflammation.

6. Where do spinal tumors originate?

Within the spinal column, a spinal tumor can originate or spread to the spine from somewhere else. Primary tumors are very rare and originate in the spine. Benign (non-cancerous) or malignant primary tumors may be (cancerous). Secondary tumors are malignant tumors that have spread to other areas of the body, such as the lungs, breasts, or the thyroid gland.

7. How do I prepare for spine surgery?

If you smoke, stop smoking, exercise regularly to increase your recovery rate, stop taking any non-essential medicines and any herbal remedies that may respond to anesthetics or other medicines, and ask your surgeon all the questions you may have.


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