Prof. Dr. Erkan Kaptanoğlu


Spine Tumors

Although spine tumors usually begin elsewhere in the body and reach the spine via blood or lymph circulation, or by directly spreading, tumors that develop from the vertebrae themselves can also be seen in rare occasions. Tumors that develop from the vertebrae are bone tumors that can also occur in other parts of the body. These tumors can be both benign and malignant. Tumors that spread to the spine from elsewhere in the body are usually malignant. Tumors grow towards the spinal canal and cause symptoms of compression on the spinal cord. In addition, tumors can lead to the collapse and fracturing of the vertebrae by holding the vertebral body.

To make a decision for the treatment of the patient who is diagnosed with a spinal tumor, the patient’s detailed medical history is required. Patient’s examination and detailed radiological investigation are necessary. Treatment planning can be carried out accurately by determining the tumor type in advance with a biopsy to be performed on the patient.

A biopsy is usually performed under general anesthesia and in the operating room. Pathological examination of the tumor is performed by taking a piece from the tumor.

  1. Pain in the spine caused by destroted bone
  2. The collapse of the vertebrae due to a tumor may cause symptoms of nerve compression
  3. Pain and numbness in the arms and legs due to spinal cord compression
  4. Weakness in the arms and legs due to spinal cord compression
  5. Urinary or fecal incontinence due to spinal cord compression
  6. Gait disorder
  1. Direct spread of a tumor to the spine from elsewhere in the body
  2. Spreading of a distant tumor through blood or lymph circulation
  3. Growth of tumors that occur in the spine canal
  4. Tumors that develop from the vertebrae
Possible Treatment Options

Non-surgical treatment methods: Drug and radiation therapy may be required in some cases.

Surgical treatment often requires the removal of the tumor and the affected bone region. When the tumor is removed, the spine is supported with a metal cage or cement instead. If the tumor spreads and enters the canal and presses on the spinal cord, the part that surrounds the spinal cord from behind, called lamina, is also surgically removed. If the spine joints are also removed, the spine is fixed with screw and rod systems. Depending on the location of the tumor, it may be necessary to open the rib cage and the abdomen.


Those patients who have malignant tumors should be followed closely for recurrence. In addition, patients whose spine is fixed with screw and rod systems should also be monitored closely.

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