Spinal cord tumor

Spinal cord tumor

Weakness in the legs, incontinence of urine or stool are among the most obvious symptoms. Many branches come together in the treatment of these tumors, which can cause serious health problems such as paralysis in the later stages.

Spinal tumor; They are tumors that develop on any of the structures forming the spine; soft tissue, nerve or bone. These types of tumors can localize to regions of the spine such as the coccyx, back and waist.

This type of tumor, which is seen in the spinal cord or in the membranes of the spinal cord, grows in soft tissues and affects the bones of the spine. Spinal cord tumor, which is also referred to as an intradural tumor in the medical literature, causes different symptoms depending on its location and size.

Symptoms of spine and spinal cord tumors can start suddenly or progress slowly. These symptoms are also different in children and adults.

Symptoms of spinal tumors in adults are as follows:

  • The first symptom is weakness in the legs. In untreated conditions, this weakness can progress.
  • In tumors with rapidly progressing symptoms, paralysis may also occur in the legs.
  • The patient's problems such as incontinence of urine and stool are among the symptoms.
  • Pain is at the forefront among the slowly progressing symptoms. In this course, the pain experienced in the lumbar region of the patient is increasing day by day. Therefore, complaints of low back pain should be evaluated without delay.
  • Symptoms such as weakness and pain may also occur in connection with the deterioration of spinal strength.

Although the causes of spinal and spinal cord tumors are not fully understood, it is thought that they may occur due to genetic reasons.

Biochemical blood tests and radiological imaging techniques are among the diagnostic methods. After a detailed examination, the radiological images that the doctor may request from the patient are as follows:

  • X-ray
  • Bone scan scintigraphy
  • Computed tomography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

In addition, in cases where the tumor is close to the surface, needle aspiration can be performed to determine from which tissue or tissues it originates or whether there is metastasis. The pieces taken using this method are also sent to the pathology and the treatment to be applied is decided according to the pathology result. A blood test is also used in the diagnosis phase. The blood test is administered to people who have symptoms of spinal and spinal cord tumors.

General anesthesia or sedation method is used in the diagnosis of spine and spinal cord tumors in children. The biggest reason why this method is preferred is that it is difficult for children to stay still in CT or MR.

In general, for the treatment of spine and spinal cord tumors; chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery are used. However, the treatment to be applied and the order of treatment may differ depending on the condition of the patient, the type of tumor and its location. Before starting the treatment, the process is evaluated in detail and planning is made.

Treatment of spinal and spinal cord tumors; carried out in a multidisciplinary approach. This approach includes specialists from different branches such as neurosurgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology and interventional radiology.

The stability of the patient's spine should be evaluated at the start of treatment. The presence of the tumor can cause fractures in the spine, and this fracture together with the tumor can put pressure on the spinal cord. Therefore, it is important to strengthen the spine structure of the patient. In such cases screwing surgery can be applied to the patient.

What are the different types of spine and spinal cord tumors?

Spinal and spinal cord tumors can be classified according to the tissues from which they originate.

Where do the spinal and spinal cord tumors occur?

The spinal cord exits the brain and runs through the spine to the coccyx. Tumors can also occur anywhere along this axis.

How long does the spinal tumor surgery last?

Spinal tumor surgery takes 4-5 hours on average. However, this period can be up to 12-15 hours depending on the location of the tumor, the size and type of the tumor, and the neurosurgeon may be accompanied by a urologist, cardiac surgeon or general surgeon.

What to watch out for after the spinal and spinal cord tumor surgery?

The type of tumor should be determined by the pathological procedure to be performed after spinal cord tumor surgery and the treatment protocol is applied accordingly. It is also important that the patient does not neglect his routine controls after the surgical procedure.

How long does the recovery period last after the spinal cord tumor surgery?

Although recovery after surgery varies depending on the type of tumor, the region it is located and the response of the patient to the treatment, recovery may take up to 3 weeks.

Does spinal cord tumors metastasize?

This is not observed in tumors developing in the spinal cord. If some childhood brain tumors are in the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid, there may be a tumor flow towards the spinal cord. However, metastases are not seen in tumors originating from the spinal cord.

Can spinal and spinal cord tumors cause paralysis?

Tumors that are not treated or whose treatment is delayed can cause paralysis over time. The development of paralysis is closely related to the area where the tumor is located.

Can physiotherapy be applied for spinal and spinal cord tumors?

Physical therapy is a supportive application used in the treatment of tumors. Especially in patients who have functional disorders in their hands and feet after surgery, positive results can be obtained with physiotherapy.

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