Spinal Tumors

There are two different kinds of spinal tumors. One kind of spinal tumor develops from inside the spinal tissue, which is usually benign. The other type of tumor metastasizes from other parts of the body and is cancerous. Both types of spinal tumor may or may not cause back pain, but there are other symptoms that you should be on the lookout for.

Symptoms of Spinal Tumors

Spinal tumors can be difficult to diagnose because they are not commonly accompanied by back pain. Their symptoms develop over a long period of time, from weeks to months to even years. Usually, cancerous tumors will develop more quickly than noncancerous ones, so it is important to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms. These symptoms can occur with both cancerous and noncancerous tumors.

  • Weakness in the legs or hips
  • Development of deformities in the spine
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Back pain that increases while sleeping

When the tumor is cancerous, you may experience other symptoms as well. These may include the following.

  • Appetite loss, which may lead to weight loss
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Chills and/or fever

Diagnosing a Spinal Tumor

When you go in for your consultation at Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics, Dr. Joshua Rovner will conduct a comprehensive physical exam in addition to reviewing your medical history as well as test results. This process will help him pinpoint the root cause of your symptoms and determine whether any other tests need to be conducted, including x-rays and MRI scans. You will learn about your diagnosis and the prognosis of your spinal tumor, as well as a thorough overview of your treatment options and their benefits and risks. Dr. Rovner will proceed with a treatment option that you decide upon together.

Treating a Spinal Tumor

Depending on the source of the tumor, there are a number of treatment options. You may require physiotherapy, radiation or chemotherapy, or steroid injections. In many cases, the tumor can be removed through spinal surgery.