Abnormal Mass of Cells
A spinal tumor is an abnormal mass of cells that grows within the bones of your spine or inside your spinal cord. There are several types of spinal tumors, including:
- Primary bone tumors that originate from your spine
- Metastatic tumors that started in another area of your body and spread to your spine
- Epidural spinal tumors that form inside your vertebrae but don’t usually affect your spinal cord
- Intradural extramedullary tumors located outside your spinal cord but within the dural sheath that surrounds your spinal nerves
- Intradural intramedullary tumors that grow inside your spinal cord
The cause of most spinal tumors is not always possible to pinpoint. Genetics, your environment and personal health history may play a role
Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook
The symptoms of a spinal tumor vary according to the location, type, cause and severity of your condition. Symptoms may include:
- Back pain that worsens over time
- Trouble walking or keeping your balance
- Tingling or numbness in arms or legs
- Inability to stand up straight or other changes in posture
- Dropping objects
- Loss of bladder or bowel function
- Needing support or assistance to move
Diagnostic testing for spinal tumors typically begins with a physical and neurological exam and review of your medical history. Testing may include:
- CT scans
- MRI scans
- Tumor biopsy
The likelihood of successful treatment for a spinal tumor varies according to the specifics of your condition. Early diagnosis and treatment usually lead to the best possible outcome.
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Why Choose Penn State Health for Care
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