Spinal and spinal cord tumors

Although there are primary bone tumors that originate in the spine the most common spine tumor in adults is metastatic disease resulting from cancer that spreads from another organ, usually the lung, the breast or the prostate (the most common spinal metastases).


Spinal tumors can manifest with back pain or an abnormal vertebral fracture. If they protrude into the spinal canal and affect the spinal cord, they can cause neurological symptoms such as movement deficits, sensitivity deficits and impaired control of the sphincters.


Intraspinal tumors are those located inside the spinal canal or inside the spinal cord. They usually cause neurological symptoms. The most common intraspinal tumors are meningiomas, schwannomas, ependymomas, myxopapillary ependymomas and diffuse gliomas.


Surgery may be indicated in the treatment of vertebral metastases depending on the extent of the systemic disease, the general condition of the patient and the number of vertebrae involved. The goal of surgery is to perform a tumor resection as wide as possible, decompress the spinal cord and stabilize the spine with spinal fusion (arthrodesis). After surgery, radiotherapy treatment is always necessary.


Surgery is essential in the case of intraspinal tumors to decompress the neural structures. Surgical intervention might also be curative in a large number of patients (meningiomas, schwannomas and ependymomas).


Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring is essential to decrease the risk of neurological injuries in these surgeries.




Microsurgical management of vertebral and spinal cord tumors

Percutaneous posterior lumbar fusion

Lumbar microsurgical decompression

Percutaneous dorsal and lumbar kyphoplasty

Anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion

Cervical microsurgical decompression

Posterior cervical fusion

Occipitocervical fusion

Posterior percutaneous dorsal fusion

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