Treating Spinal Tumors

It’s estimated that 10,000 Americans develop primary or metastatic spinal cord tumors each year. Treating spinal tumors can vary based on the type of tumor and symptoms experienced. A spinal tumor is defined as a growth that develops inside the spinal canal or inside the bones of the spine. These tumors can be cancerous or noncancerous and are primarily one of two types, intramedullary or extramedullary.

Intramedullary tumors begin inside the cells of the spinal cord, while extramedullary tumors develop in the supporting network of cells surrounding the spinal cord.


Patients with a spinal tumor often experience back or neck pain along with one of the following symptoms:

  • Pain that worsens at night
  • Pain that worsens with physical activity
  • Numbness and/or weakness in chest and/or extremities
  • Difficulty walking

Treating Spinal Tumors

As spinal tumors grow and begin to compress the spinal cord, they can cause severe pain. Tumors, whether cancerous or noncancerous, can cause neurological problems and paralysis as they grow. Even noncancerous tumors can be life-threatening.

When treating spinal tumors, the first option is often to remove the tumor. The surgeons at Nebraska Spine Hospital are able to remove spinal tumors safely and effectively. If a tumor cannot be completely removed or is inoperable, there are options we can provide to help treat these tumors, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Please take a few moments to watch as Dr. Hain, a surgeon here at Nebraska Spine Hospital, walks through the various treatment options for spinal tumors.

The symptoms of a spinal tumor are fairly common symptoms associated with many conditions of the spine. If you or a loved one is experiencing the symptoms listed above, we urge you to seek medical attention. Click here to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified surgeons.

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