Personalized treatments for people with back pain and spine disorders
Published: Sept. 29, 2010
Updated: Mar. 21, 2011
Spinal cord tumors arise inside the substance of the spinal cord. The most common spinal cord tumors are astrocytomas and ependymomas.
The cause of spinal cord tumors is unknown in the vast majority of cases.
The symptoms associated with spinal cord tumors are nonspecific. Symptoms include pain, weakness, numbness, and difficulty walking.
Your doctor will obtain a medical history and perform an examination to determine whether or not your have signs or symptoms of a spinal cord tumor. A number of diagnostic studies may also help make the diagnosis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the best diagnostic study to look for a spinal cord tumor.
The treatment for a spinal cord tumor depends on the size, location, and clinical symptoms. Observation is sometimes appropriate for small lesions without associated symptoms. Larger lesions, or lesions with associated symptoms, may warrant surgical excision or biopsy. Additional treatments, such as radiation therapy, can be recommended in cases where surgical excision is not possible.
The team of experts at the Duke Spine Center have extensive experience with the treatment of spinal cord tumors and will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for you.