About Spinal Tumours
The department of Spine Surgery at Vimhans Nayati Super Speciality Hospital is committed to offering up to the minute surgical modalities for the treatment and management of a wide spectrum of spinal ailments including spinal tumours. The department is backed by state-of-the-art equipment and a team of highly specialized doctors and surgeons with years of expertise in the field. A tumour is an abnormal mass or lump formed by the uncontrollable growth and accumulation of unhealthy tissues within or around the spinal column. These tumours can either be benign or malignant. While some tumours originate in the spine itself, others can be a result of metastasis from some other site of origin. The former is referred to as primary tumours whereas the latter is known as secondary or metastatic tumours.
Types of Spinal Tumours
Depending upon their location, spinal tumours can be broadly classified into the following 3 types:
• Intradural-extramedullary spinal tumours – With a prevalence of almost 40 per cent, Intradural-extramedullary spinal tumours develop between the dura i.e. the covering of the spinal cord and the actual spinal cord. These are mostly benign but have a tendency to recur. Their location makes it quite difficult to remove them surgically. These include
- Meningiomas, that develop in the arachnoid membrane
- Schwannomas and Neurofibromas, that develop in the nerve roots
- Filum terminale ependymomas, that develop at the base of the spinal cord.
• Intramedullary spinal tumours– These develop inside the spinal cord and usually target the glial or ependymal cells. Intramedullary spinal tumours have a prevalence of around 5 per cent with Astrocytomas and ependymomas being the most common. Ependymomas, though most likely to be benign, are quite difficult to remove.
• Extradural spinal tumours – With a frequency of 55 per cent, these tumours develop outside the dura and are usually a result of metastasis.
Symptoms you should not ignore
The most common symptom associated with spinal tumour is persistent back pain, which aggravates with time and movement. The pain may gradually radiate to other parts of the body such as the limbs and the neck.
- Loss of sensation or muscle weakness in the limbs
- Stiffness in the back and neck
- Tingling sensation and the back, legs and arms.
- Inability to walk without support
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Increased sensitivity to pain
- Bladder and bowel incontinence
- Visible deformity
State of the art diagnostic procedures offered at Vimhans Nayati
Various diagnostic modalities available at Vimhans include:
- X-ray – To examine the vertebrae and joints so as to search for the underlying cause of pain, discomfort and other symptoms.
- CT scan – Computed tomography or CT scan uses x-ray imaging guidance to generate detailed images of the spinal column and the associated structure.
- MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses the combination of powerful magnets and imaging guidance to examine the spinal cord, nerve roots and other associated areas.
- Bone scan – The procedure involves the use of Technetium-99 for evaluating the overall bone health.
Surgeries offered by our experts
- Decompression surgery – It involves the surgical removal of the entire tumour or a part of it. It is a type of debulking surgery that aims at the complete or partial resection of the tumour.
- Embolization – The aim of the surgery is to shrink the size of the tumour and this is done by cutting down the supply of oxygenated blood to the concerned area.
- Kyphoplasty or Vertebroplasty – These are minimally invasive procedures, performed to treat vertebral fractures caused by massive tumours.
- Radiosurgery – Performed with the help of a CyberKnife, the surgical procedure offers high degrees of precision and accuracy with a more targeted approach to target the tumour.
- Spinal stabilization – The aim of the surgery is to address the instability caused by the tumours. The procedure is used in combination with other treatments to aid the process of recovery.