Spinal tumours are consisted of the tumours which are comprised of spine, spinal cord and relative structures. The tumours may settle every region of spine like neck, waist of tail end. They may be benign or malign. These tumour cells grow uncontrollably and harm the patient. There are two sources of these tumours. They may be originated from the cells which form the spine and spinal cord or they may be seen in spine because of the spread of tumours which have developed in other parts of body. The most frequent metastasis area is spine.
What are their symptoms?
The benign and malign tumours which occur in the concerned parts of the spine show themselves with a pain in back or waist without depending on any movement. This pain generally occurs without trauma, exercise or stress. Besides, an increase in pain occurs when exercise is done.
The complaints and findings of patients vary according to the place of tumour.
Weakness and insensibility in arms and legs
Numbness in chest and arms-legs
Difficulty while walking
Disappearance of the senses of pain and heat
Destruction of intestine and bladder control
Paralysis may be in different stages
Big but benign tumours may cause scoliosis or other spinal deformities
What are diagnosis methods?
The first step of diagnosis is examination of the patient. The gold standard is magnetic resonance imaging with contrast (with medication) among the diagnosis methods. Sometimes computer tomography and electromyography (EMG) may be also used for distinctive diagnosis and surgery planning.
How is the treatment?
The initial and most important treatment in spinal tumours is surgery. A total healing can be ensured by taking all of these generally benign tumours.
For the tumours which may be malignant, it is needed to take a piece from the tumour buy surgery to determine the type of tumour and plan the treatment. The first option is surgery if an increase in deterioration like weakness is detected in the neurological examination. Different methods are existent in surgery, sometimes stabilisation method known as screwing may also be used as an addition to these techniques.
What determines the success in surgery?
An appropriate method is quite important in the surgical success. The most effective methods of prevention of the damage which may be caused on patient are using microsurgical methods and neuro monitoring appropriately during the operation.
What is Neuro Monitoring?
With the method of neuro monitoring, the neural communication on spinal cord is continuously measured and this can inform about a potential damage during the manipulations of the surgeon. This can prevent the damages which may be caused on the patient.
May supportive treatments be necessary?
In some spinal tumours, radiotherapy is an option of treatment. If the tumours do not necessitate extraction, they may be monitored periodically. While some tumours give positive responses to treatment, some do so for radiotherapy. In general, radiotherapy is used after the pathological sampling in some tumours which are known as malign.
How is the process after Surgery?
The patients are taken to the service. They are monitored in intensive care unit for a night and then they are taken to the patient rooms. Patients are walked with a binder or neck protector on the first day and may be discharged from the hospital on the 3rd day. Their stitches are taken out on the 12th day.
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