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Spinal Tumors

What’s a Spinal Tumor?

Spinal Tumor

A spinal tumor is an abnormal growth that develops anywhere along your spinal column. These tumors are either benign or malignant, which often originate elsewhere in your body. Your spinal column houses your spinal cord, the sensitive nerves that control your body’s functions. With a tumor, you may experience problems with your legs, hands, bladder, bowel or other parts of your body.

If you have persistent back pain or numbness or limitations in the lower part of your body, seek an accurate diagnosis from a spine surgeon. The spine specialists at Premier Brain & Spine have over five decades of combined experience. For any spinal condition, the team uses a multi-disciplinary approach to treat you, including medications, injections, spine surgery and other advanced techniques.

What Are the Common Locations of Spine Tumors?

Spinal Tumor

Your spine starts at the top of your neck and runs all the way to your tailbone or coccyx. All along the length of your spine are structures where tumors can develop. Common locations of spinal tumors include:

  • Bones. Your spine has 33 vertebrae. A tumor can form on the or in the bone marrow.
  • Cartilage. This hard protective layer protects your joints, but tumors can grow in these joints.
  • Spinal discs. Vertebral discs provide a cushion between your vertebral bones. Inside these spinal discs is a jelly-like fluid where tumors may grow.
  • Blood vessels. Your spine has an extensive system of blood vessels to supply nutrients. The blood vessels are a common place for tumors to start.
  • Spinal nerves. Peripheral nerves exit your spinal column to reach different parts of your body. Spinal tumors can grow on or around the nerves.
  • Layers of the spinal cord. The dura mater, pia mater and arachnoid mater are membranes that protectively wrap your spinal cord. They’re a common area for tumors to develop.

The best spine physician uses the latest diagnostic equipment to safely examine your spinal cord. An accurate diagnosis points your doctor to the most appropriate treatment. Visit the nearest neurosurgery and spine center for advanced technology and treatment. Premier Brain & Spine has locations in Bayonne, Edison, Freehold, Hackensack, Paterson, Rutherford, Union, West Orange, and West Caldwell in NJ and in Goshen in NY.

What Are the Different Types of Spinal Tumors?

Doctors classify spinal tumors based on factors that include the place of origin, the extent of spread and the symptoms caused. Classifications include:

  • Primary spinal tumors. Primary tumors originate in your spinal cord. These tumors almost always strike younger people, but they aren’t very common. Once they’re identified, your doctor determines where the tumor started to grow: in the bones, discs or nerves.
  • Secondary spinal tumors. Secondary or metastatic spinal tumors originate from visceral organ cancers, so they’re cancerous. Most common among the older population, secondary tumors spread from your lung, breast or prostate to your spine. They cause pain and other symptoms.
  • Extradural tumors. This type of metastatic spinal tumor formed outside the dura mater of your spinal cord. The extradural or epidural tumors are mostly metastatic.
  • Intradural-extramedullary tumors. These spinal tumors are located inside the dura mater. They are mostly benign and grow slowly.

Your board certified spinal doctor at the NJ spine care center relies on advanced technology to determine the exact type of tumor in or on your spine. Only with a diagnosis can you receive the more effective treatment.

What Are the Signs of a Spinal Tumor?

Spinal tumors cause a wide range of symptoms affecting various parts of your spinal cord, including blood vessels, spinal discs, nerve roots and bones. As the tumors grow, your symptoms get more severe. Seeking an early diagnosis improves your chances of a successful treatment. Symptoms include:

  • Back pain and neck pain
  • A pinched nerve or radiculopathy
  • Myelopathy or spinal cord compression
  • Pressure and pain from the tumor as it enlarges
  • Back pain that radiates to other parts of your body
  • Reduced sensitivity to pain
  • Paralysis
  • Stumbling or other difficulties when walking
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Back pain that worsens when you sleep
  • Muscle weakness and spasms
  • Tingling and numbness in your arms or legs
  • Spinal deformities, such as kyphosis or scoliosis if the tumor grows large enough

Tell your spine specialist about all the symptoms you’re experiencing. After the diagnosis, your doctor puts together an individualized treatment plan.

What’s the Best Treatment for Spinal Tumors?

At the spine center in New York or New Jersey, your doctor uses a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. Some treatment options a top spinal specialist may choose include:

  • Radiation therapy, including external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Medications, including corticosteroids, pain medications and immunotherapy drugs
  • Chemotherapy
  • Spinal surgery to remove part or the entire tumor, as long as it preserves the neurological function and maintains your spinal stability

For every diagnosis, your doctor considers multiple factors, including your spinal condition, age, overall health, location of the tumor and type of tumor before deciding on the best treatment. Consult the best spinal specialists at Premier Brain & Spine. Contact the talented and experienced team for the best brain and spine treatment.

Updated on Jul 27, 2022 by Dr. David Wells-Roth (Neurosurgeon) of Premier Brain & Spine

Premier Brain & Spine
10 Parsonage Rd, Suite 208A
Edison, NJ 08837
(732) 258-0190