Spinal Tumor Resection
Complete tumor resection (surgical removal) is usually the most effective treatment for spinal tumors, which can form inside the spinal cord; in the membranes covering the spinal cord; or between the membranes and the bones of the spine. Tumors that originate in spinal tissue are called primary spinal tumors; what causes them is unknown. Whether benign or malignant, spinal tumors can upset the connection between the brain and the nerves, or inhibit the spinal cord's blood supply. Spinal tumors can cause symptoms on one or both sides of the body.
Spinal Tumor Resection Procedure
Spinal tumor resection is performed under general anesthesia. An incision is made to expose the spinal cord and nerves, the tumor is removed, the incision is closed with (usually) staples or nylon suture, and a specimen of the tumor is sent to a lab for analysis. If the tumor is malignant, resection may be followed by radiation therapy to ensure that the malignancy is completely eradicated. Resection of a benign tumor can relieve compression on the spinal cord, thereby preventing nerve damage.
Recovery from Spinal Tumor Resection
After spinal tumor resection, a hospital stay of a few days is usually required; any pain is usually managed with oral analgesics. Bedrest is recommended to speed healing. Depending upon whether the tumor caused significant neurological damage prior to its being removed, physical therapy or rehabilitation may be needed. Strenuous activity is prohibited until approved by the surgeon.