Tumor Resection

Surgery may be the only treatment for a primary spinal tumor that is non-cancerous. As much of the tumor is removed as possible without causing neurological problems.

About this Surgery

Used to treat: Cervical Tumors

A primary spinal tumor means it comes from cells within or near the spine. It can involve the spinal cord, nerve roots, and/or the vertebrae (bones of the spine) and pelvis. Benign or malignant spinal tumors may require surgical intervention before or after non-operative treatments. The primary goals in surgery is to reduce pain caused by the spinal tumor, restore or preserve neurologic function, and provide spinal stability. The spinal tumor can be approached surgically from the front (anterior) or from the back (posterior) of the body. In general, benign tumors do not invade other tissues. Malignant tumors may invade other tissues and organs in the body. Although primary spinal tumors often contain a number of abnormal genes,  their cause, in most cases, remains unknown.

Surgery may be the only treatment for a primary spinal tumor that is non-cancerous. As much of the tumor is removed as possible without causing neurological problems. A decompression refers to removing bone around the spinal cord or spinal nerves in order to take pressure off these structures.

After surgery, activity such as sitting and walking will be allowed as well as activities that do not require stretching of the spine or straining. Lifting is limited during the initial recovery period. You may be required to use a brace or corset after surgery to help with stability. Radiation for malignant tumors is often used following surgery to kill remaining tumor cells. It usually begins one to two weeks following surgery. Radiation lasts only 15-20 minutes per day for two to six weeks.

You can expect recovery and improvement in symptoms between a few days and several months following surgery. You may need pain management during your recovery, or possibly on a more long-term basis. Physical and occupational therapy may be beneficial to help restore any lost strength, coordination, or other skills. Your surgeon will likely suggest periodic follow-up appointments. New lab tests and imaging studies may be required. Sometimes the tumor will grow back and need to be removed again.

Please keep in mind that all treatments and outcomes are specific to the individual patient. Results may vary. Complications, such as infection, blood loss, and bowel or bladder problems are some of the potential adverse risks of surgery. Please consult your physician for a complete list of indications, warnings, precautions, adverse events, clinical results and other important medical information.