Spinal Tumor Treatment: Surgery
Several surgical procedures are used as spinal tumor treatment options when removing tumors and affected bone from the spine, in some cases to specifically relieve pressure on the spinal cord. These same procedures also focus on providing surgical fixation or stabilization of the spine.
Surgeries commonly used for spinal tumor treatment include:
- Laminectomy: surgical removal of the posterior arch of a vertebra
- Vertebral reconstruction: surgical stabilization of a fractured vertebra
- Spinal fusion: the fusing, or joining, together of two or more vertebrae
- Corpectomy: surgical removal of a vertebral body
Patients and physicians together weigh the pros and cons of each procedure to determine the appropriate treatment path.
How does surgery treat metastatic spinal tumors?
Spine surgery is typically used to treat a metastatic spinal tumor only when complicated by the presence of a spine fracture or neurological symptoms due to increased pressure on the spinal cord. The lack of either of these complications would routinely rule out surgery as a treatment option for a metastatic spinal tumor.
During such a surgery, efforts are made to remove any portions of a metastatic spinal tumor that can be reached. Post-operative radiation or other therapy is then used to address portions of a metastatic spinal tumor that could not be removed surgically.
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