Spinal tumor removal and stabilization

Spinal tumors can be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). When a spinal tumor is present, it is removed along with any bone that has been damaged by the tumor. If part of the spine has been weakened by the surgery or disease, it is stabilized using metal implants, bone grafts, or a special bone cement.

Certain types of tumors grow directly on the spinal cord or nerve roots. In some cases the risk of damaging the spinal cord by removing the tumor is greater than the possible benefit of removing the tumor. Before deciding on such a surgery, get a clear understanding of the risks involved, and get advice from a surgeon who is in expert in treating spinal cord tumors.

Last Updated: February 3, 2010

Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH

Medical Review: William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics

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