Spinal Tumor

A spinal tumor is abnormal growth of the cell in the spinal column of an individual. It is of two types: primary and secondary.

The primary tumor originates in the spine itself but is very rare occurring. The secondary tumor originates elsewhere and spreads to the spinal column. The primary tumor is benign (non-cancerous) in nature and the secondary tumors are malignant (cancerous). The Usual symptom of spinal tumor is severe back pain that is unrelated to movement. In addition to this, the back pain cannot be improved with rest or physical rehabilitation. The other symptoms include sciatica, numbness, and partial paralysis. The basis of treatment depends on the degree of severity and location of the tumor in the spinal column.


  • The treatment of the spinal tumor varies from patient to patient depending on the medical condition, preferences of the patient, tumor type and presence of paralysis.
  • Any treatment plan emphasizes on the reduction of pain, maximizing neurological function and patient’s life quality.
  • Non- surgical treatment includes chemotherapy and or radiation therapy.
  • Surgical treatment includes -
    • Tumor resection
    • Neurological decompression
    • Surgical stabilization of the cervical, thoracic, lumbar and/or sacral spine.

Congenital Spinal Disorders / Deformities

This includes spinal dysraphism like myelomeningocele, lipomyelomeningocoele, spina bifida, etc. along with kyphoscoliosis and craniovertebral junction (CVJ) anomalies. The patient may have pain, deformity, weakness of limbs or tethered cord syndrome.


  • Treatment is planned depending upon the symptoms and age of presentation.
  • Spinal dysraphism needs excision and de-teethering of cord.
  • Kyphoscoliosis needs correction of deformity and spinal stabilisation procedures.
  • CV junction anomalies need surgical correction and stabilisation.
    • Procedures commonly done are: C1-C2 fusion, Occipito- cervical fusion, Odontoid screw fixation.
    • A prerequisite to such procedures is a detailed CT scan of CVJ with 3D reconstruction and MRI. Vertebral artery CT angiogram may be needed. Screws are put into the bones and anchored together with contoured rods. Decompression done as per requirement. Bone grafts facilitate fusion over time.

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