Spinal tumor surgery

Dr. Brisson is one of the premier spine surgeons in New York City, specializing in spinal tumor surgery. If other spine conditions are ruled out, then your pain may be due to a spinal tumor.

There are three common types of spinal tumors, most of them metastatic, which means they have spread from another part of the body into the spine. Vertebral column tumors grow directly from the bone or discs of the vertebral column, and produce pain and other symptoms of serious illness. These tumors are most often spread from cancer originating in the breast or lung (for woman), or from the prostate and lung (for men). Intradural-Extramedullary tumors are found within the spinal canal but outside of the nerves. They are usually benign and slow-growing, and the symptoms of pain and weakness may take years to develop. The third common type of spinal tumor is an intramedullary tumor, which grows inside the nerves within the spinal cord. Even though this type of tumor tends to be benign, spinal tumor surgery might be difficult due to the location.

Symptoms of spinal tumors depend on the location and type of tumor, as well as your overall health. Tumors pressing on the spinal cord or nerve roots may cause permanent nerve damage over an extended period of time. Symptoms may show up in various parts of the body, and may include cold or loss of sensation (particularly in the legs), severe back pain that is worsened by lying down, incontinence, muscle twitches and spasms, muscle function loss, and weakness that can cause falls and difficulty in walking.

A spinal tumor is usually confirmed with neurological examinations and additional tests such as spinal CT or spine MRI. Then, spinal tumor treatment should be implemented as soon as possible to prevent additional nerve damage. In some situations, spinal tumor surgery may be needed.

Surgical treatment of spinal tumors can vary. In some cases, the tumor may be removed completely. In other cases, only a part of the tumor may be removed to protect the spine and provide relief on the spinal cord at the same time. Dr. Brisson has more than 25 years of spine care and surgery experience in New York City, and he will help you determine the best course of spinal tumor treatment, which may include back tumor surgery, radiation therapy, or both.