Vertebral Tumor Removal

There are three common types of spinal tumors that can cause back pain: vertebral column tumors, intradural-extramedullary tumors, and intramedullary tumors. Spinal tumors progress at different rates. In general, cancerous spinal tumors grow more quickly, and noncancerous spinal tumors tend to develop very slowly.

Vertebral tumors also are more common in people who have a prior history of cancer.

Both noncancerous and cancerous vertebral tumors can compress spinal nerves, leading to a loss of movement or sensation below the level of the tumor and sometimes to changes in bowel and bladder function. Nerve damage may be permanent.

A vertebral tumor may also damage the spine and make it unstable, which raises the risk of a sudden fracture or collapse of the spine that could injure the spinal cord.

However, if caught early and treated aggressively, it may be possible to regain nerve function. Depending on its location, a tumor that impinges on the spinal cord itself may be life-threatening.

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