Spinal Tumor Surgery
Spine surgery to remove or resect (partially remove) a benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) spinal tumor can help reduce or relieve persistent back or neck pain, balance problems, difficulty walking, and bowel and bladder dysfunction.
When and if surgery is performed depends on many things, such as : –
- Tumor type, including benign or malignant.
- Tumor size and its location.
- If the tumor causes spinal cord or nerve compression (if there’s neurologic eficit—aka, nerve problems).
- If the tumor causes spinal instability, vertebral destruction, or vertebral fracture.
The goals of surgery for spinal tumors include : –
- Remove the spinal tumor, or as much of it as possible
- Reduce pain and improve function and life
- Restore spinal stability
Possible Surgical Procedures for Spinal Tumors
Decompression : – Remove the tumor, bone, and other tissues compressing the spinal cord and or spinal nerve roots.
Spinal Stabilization : – Your spine can become unstable after part of the bone or other tissues (e.g., intervertebral discs) are taken out. An unstable spine can move in abnormal ways, putting you more at risk for serious neurological injury.
Combination : – You may need to have both a decompression and spinal stabilization. Decompression and stabilization spine surgeries may be performed as a minimally invasive procedure or by using a more traditional open approach (longer incision, longer recovery time).
Kyphoplasty or Vertebroplasty : – These are similar minimally invasive surgical procedures performed to stabilize a fractured vertebra. Spinal tumors that invade vertebrae may cause it to break and can cause severe pain.
Radiosurgery (CyberKnife) : – This is a non-invasive procedure using precisely targeted radiation to treat certain spine tumors (1). Radiosurgery can help remove tumors using a high-dose of radiation.
Most patients need some rehabilitation after surgery. Whether you are transferred to a rehab center directly from the hospital or go as an outpatient, rehab should help you get back to your regular activities of daily living. Certain treatments may be prescribed as part of your continued care. If your spinal tumor is malignant, radiation therapy and / or chemotherapy may be recommended.
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