A tumor is when abnormal cells gather and form a mass of tissue. Although the body has no need for this type of tissue, they still grow and refuse to die, allowing for more cells to join the mass. Tumors can occur in multiple places in the human body, benign or malignant; even in the spinal cord. If you believe you have a spinal tumor, a spine surgeon on Long Island at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates can help you take the right steps towards recovery!
What are spinal tumors?
A spinal tumor is when the mass of tissue made of abnormal cells develops within your spinal canal. A spinal cord tumor is also referred to as an intradural tumor. The main types of intradural tumors are:
- Intramedullary tumors– this type of tumor begins in the cells of the spinal cord
- Extramedullary tumors– these tumors develop in either the membrane around the spinal cord or the nerve roots of the spinal cord.
Oftentimes, tumors can spread to the vertebrae, which is then known as a vertebral tumor.
What are the symptoms of a spinal tumor?
Tumors can be life-threatening, but if caught early, treating them comes a little easier. Some of the signs and symptoms of a spinal tumor include:
- Pain in the area in which the tumor is growing
- Back pain that spreads to other body parts
- Lower sensitivity to pain and extreme temperatures in that particular region
- Inability to control bowel or bladder function
- Difficulty walking
- Muscle weakness
Sometimes, these symptoms may overlap with other back problems, but you can ask your spine surgeon on Long Island what they believe could be the cause!
What is the treatment for spinal tumors?
There are many different circumstances that could change your method of treatment for a spinal tumor. It depends on the size of the tumor, location, patient’s age, and health, among many other factors. Here are a few ways your spine surgeon on Long Island treats spinal tumors:
- Keeping a close eye– If the tumor is small enough and doesn’t seem to be growing or affecting any surrounding tissue, your doctor might just keep monitoring it until a problem arises.
- Surgery- If there is a minimal-to-none risk of damaging the spinal cord or nerves, this is a viable option.
- Radiation therapy– when the tumor is too risky to remove surgically, radiation therapy can help eliminate the tumor.
- Chemotherapy– This treatment method allows medications to destroy cancer cells and prevent them from growing any further.
There are many different ways to approach the treatment method of spinal tumors. It is important to have a support system when dealing with a spinal tumor diagnosis. A spine surgeon on Long Island at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates can help answer any questions you may have about spinal tumors and help you get on the right track to recovery.