Benign spinal tumor treatment

benign spinal tumor treatment

Benign spinal tumor surgery recovery

How to get out of bed with a compression fracture?

Can you sit with a compression fracture?

What is the best treatment for a compression fracture?
Benign spinal tumor treatment

For benign spinal tumors that don’t cause symptoms or don’t appear to be progressing, physicians might recommend holding off on surgery. Instead, they will monitor the tumor through regular MRIs, or see if it responds well to chemotherapy or radiation.

Surgery is often the best option, though. Some spinal tumors resist radiation and chemotherapy, while others are too large or already pressing on nerves and causing other health issues. Surgeons want to avoid tumor growth that will inevitably press on spinal nerves and lead to paralysis. Yet, spinal surgeons don’t make that decision alone.

They work with the patient as well as other physicians and surgeons to develop the best course of action.

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Spinal cancer treatment sometimes involves surgery. We apply similar surgical strategies for brain tumors and spinal column tumors. The goal of spinal cancer surgery depends on several factors, including the location and grade of the tumor, and the symptoms present.

When the tumor is limited to one portion of the spinal column, we may perform surgery to remove the cancer. For metastatic spinal tumors, we may perform surgery to relieve symptoms. For example, we commonly use surgical strategies to treat spinal column compression and instability, and relieve pain. Spinal cancer surgery may also help remove tissue pressing against the spinal cord and nerves or to relieve the buildup of cerebrospinal fluid.

In the past, surgeries to address spinal tumors were relatively large. With advances in technology, we perform many of these surgeries in a minimally invasive fashion. Minimally invasive spinal surgeries allow you to get back on your feet and return to normal activities more quickly, with less pain. This also allows you to maintain your nutritional health and get back to treatment faster.

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Our medical oncologists treat primary and metastatic spinal cancer with an aggressive and creative approach, selecting spinal cancer chemotherapy drugs and delivery methods based on your individual needs.

Chemotherapy drugs may be administered orally in pill form or injected into the vein. For some spinal tumors, drugs may be given directly into the cerebrospinal fluid. You may receive chemotherapy alone, or in combination with other spinal cancer treatments, such as surgery and/or radiation therapy.

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Radiation therapy

We use highly targeted delivery systems that allow us to increase the dose and precision of radiation to a spinal tumor, while reducing damage to healthy tissue.

Spinal cancer radiation therapy is commonly used following surgical resection of a tumor, to destroy microscopic tumor cells left behind. It may also be an option for metastatic spinal tumors (tumors that have spread to the spine from another part of the body).

The specifics of your radiation regimen will be based on several factors, including the type and size of the spinal tumor and the extent of disease. External radiation therapy is commonly used for spinal cancer. The area radiated typically includes the tumor and an area surrounding the tumor. For metastatic spinal tumors, radiation is sometimes given to the entire spine.

Interventional radiology

With interventional radiology, our doctors can visualize tumors and perform real-time image-guided interventional procedures. We can take biopsies, deliver treatment directly to tumors, provide palliative treatment, and monitor your response to treatment.

Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are examples of minimally invasive procedures used to treat compression fractures of the spinal vertebrae caused by spinal cancer. Compression fractures of the spinal vertebrae can cause severe back pain, spinal deformity, and loss of height. Our doctors may perform kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty to rebuild cracked or collapsed vertebrae.

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Benign spinal tumor surgery recovery
The Next Few Days

Although some spinal tumor surgery may only require two or three days in the hospital, it’s not uncommon to stay in the hospital for up to a week after undergoing surgery for an extensive tumor. During this time, you will have the opportunity to rest and really begin the healing process. Depending on the site and severity of your tumor, you may start receiving physical therapy. Pain management will be administered, but will be decreased on a daily basis as your body starts to recover.

Your surgeon may have placed a drain to divert excess fluid from the surgical site  within a few days of placement, this drain will be removed.

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Going Home: The First Few Weeks

In most cases, you will go home within a week or less after your surgery, but sometimes a stay in an in-patient rehabilitation facility is needed. You might still be on pain medication for a few days to several weeks. It’s important to keep up with your medication schedule as laid out by your surgeon.

At home, you can gradually start to become more active depending on your surgeon’s instructions, you may be asked to walk and build upon that base as recovery continues. In some cases physical therapy will be prescribed be sure to attend all of the required sessions. This often makes a huge difference in recovery and helps to build strength and flexibility again.

A well-balanced diet is essential in giving your body the nutrients it needs to properly heal. Plenty of vegetables and fruits, a moderation of lean meats and healthy carbs will help give your system the boost it needs. Rest is also important because you will feel very tired to start with, but as time goes by, you’ll find your energy will start to increase again.

You’ll be allowed to shower as normal, but avoid scrubbing your incision site. It may be healed over, but there is still a lot of rebuilding that needs to take place under the surface.

You may need to see your surgeon regularly over the course of the next few weeks. Be sure to make all of the appointments it’s essential that your progress be monitored closely. It’s much easier to correct issues early on.

Depending on what you do for work, it’s possible you’ll be able to return fairly quickly. If you work in a job that demands strenuous labor, such as lifting, bending or twisting, you may be ordered to work on a modified basis until your surgeon has cleared you for resuming your normal duties.

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The First Few Months

You’ve made it through the first (and typically most difficult) portion of your recovery! At this point, you have resumed the majority of your normal activities, including driving, working and household chores. This doesn’t mean that you can forget you had surgery you will need to continue to take special care of your back. It can take months for a surgical site to heal completely and depending on the extent of your tumor, surrounding tissues and structures may need some extra recovery time as well. Additional treatment may be needed if your tumor is cancerous.  This treatment may include radiation and/or chemotherapy.  If needed, it is important that you receive this treatment in a timely fashion after your surgeon has cleared you.

You can expect to see your surgeon regularly the frequency of check-ups will be determined by the doctor and your particular needs. Diagnostics such as X-rays or scans may be conducted to monitor healing and make sure there are no complications or delays. Your surgeon will make necessary recommendations for exercise or lifestyle changes if they see anything that indicates you’re not healing as they’d expect.

If you’re still seeing a physical therapist, continue your appointments. One of the biggest mistakes someone recovering from any type of surgery can make is to quit going to physical therapy because they feel better.

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How to get out of bed with a compression fracture?

One of the most important aspects of healing from a compression fracture is preventing re-injury. If you have surgery, you should always follow any instructions given by your surgeon and avoid any lifting or exercise for at least several weeks. 

With surgery for a compression fracture, you will not be able to twist or bend your back for as much as 6 weeks following the surgery. That means that you will have to change the way that you do a lot of your normal activities of daily life, such as getting out of bed. Your surgeon may prescribe physical therapy to help you learn the correct and safe way to move throughout your day, so be sure to keep all of your physical therapy appointments and perform the recommended activities and exercises they ask you to do as well.

Anytime you move, remember that the goal is to keep the spine as straight and lengthened as possible, to avoid placing unnecessary strain on the back. It’s important that you always sit up as tall as you can so you don’t put additional pressure on the spine and that you do NOT bend over to get out of bed. 

Instead, you should always follow your provider’s recommendations and use the following tips for getting out of bed with a compression fracture: 

  • Keep your body as straight as possible anytime you’re moving in bed.
  • Prepare to get out of bed by positioning your body as close to the side of the bed as you can. 
  • Push your body up off of the bed with your arms while keeping your back straight, so you come up to a sitting position on the side of your bed.
  • At the same time, lower your legs over the side of the bed while keeping your back straight.
  • Continue to lower your legs until your feet hit the floor, while remaining upright. 
  • If you use a walker, keep your chest and head up as you use the walker to stand. 
  • If you don’t use a walker, place a chair next to your bed to help you steady yourself as you stand up. 

To get into bed, you’ll again want to try to keep your back as straight as possible, so you will lower yourself onto your side, using your arms for support. When turning, always move your head first, then your shoulders and hips at the same time (think of them as one unit working together) to avoid twisting your back. 

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Can you sit with a compression fracture?

It may get worse when you sit or stand. It can make it hard to move or walk. Many people recall the exact moment the pain started and what they were doing at the time.

  • To lessen pain, lie in the 90/90 position:
    • Lie on your back on the floor with a pillow under your head.
    • Support your legs on a chair with hips and knees at right angles.
    • Relax in this position.
  • When you feel pain in your back, stop what you are doing and put either heat or cold on your back, depending on which feels better.
  • Use a cane or walker if you need help with walking
  • Avoid stretching or stooping to prevent further injury.
  • Call your healthcare provider right away if:
    • You have new back pain and lose control of your bowels or bladder.
    • You lose hand, arm, or leg strength and coordination.
    • You cannot relieve new back pain by changing your position or using heat and cold on your back.

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What is the best treatment for a compression fracture?

Spinal compression fractures are the most common type of osteoporotic fractures. These vertebral fractures can permanently alter the shape and strength of the spine. The fractures usually heal on their own and the pain goes away. For the most part, nonoperative treatments are recommended for compression fracture. These treatments include pain medications and modified physical activity. The doctor may recommend wearing a brace that helps support the back and prevents bending forward, and therefore removes pressure from the fractured vertebrae.

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10 common questions about benign spinal tumor treatment

1What is the recovery time after spinal tumor removal?
The total recovery time after surgery may be as short as three months or as long as a year, depending on the complexity of the surgery. Most patients will feel close to normal by three to four months. The healing process, however, continues for several months after surgery and may last up to a year or more.
2How are spinal tumors treated?
One or more of the following therapies may be recommended to treat the tumor or help relieve symptoms. Corticosteroids: These drugs (such as dexamethasone) may be given to reduce swelling if a spinal tumor is pressing against the spinal cord. These tumors are treated as soon as possible, often with surgery.
3Can spinal tumors be removed?
But even with the latest technological advances in surgery, not all tumors can be totally removed. When the tumor can't be removed completely, surgery may be followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy or both. Recovery from spinal surgery may take weeks or longer, depending on the procedure.
4What causes spinal tumors?
They might be caused by something in the environment, such as exposure to certain chemicals. In some cases, however, spinal cord tumors are linked to known inherited syndromes, such as neurofibromatosis 2 and von Hippel-Lindau disease.
5Do benign tumors hurt?
Benign and malignant tumors. Not all tumors are malignant, or cancerous, and not all are aggressive. There is no such thing as a good tumor. These masses of mutated and dysfunctional cells may cause pain and disfigurement, invade organs and, potentially, spread throughout the body
6Can you tell if a tumor is cancerous from an MRI?
Like CT scans, MRI creates cross-section pictures of your insides. ... MRI is very good at finding and pinpointing some cancers. An MRI with contrast dye is the best way to see brain tumors. Using MRI, doctors can sometimes tell if a tumor is benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
7Is a spinal tumor curable?
Outcome depends greatly on the age and overall health of the patient and on whether the spinal tumor is benign or malignant, primary or metastatic. In the case of primary tumors, the goal is to remove the tumor completely, leading optimally to the potential cure of the malignancy.
8What does a spinal tumor feel like?
As the disease progresses, spinal cancer symptoms may grow to include weakness, inability to move the legs and, eventually, paralysis. Some common signs of spinal tumors may include: Pain (back and/or neck pain, arm and/or leg pain) Muscle weakness or numbness in the arms or legs.
9How long do you live with spinal cancer?
The 5-year survival rate is the percentage of people with bone cancer (reported by stage) who are likely to survive to at least 5 years after diagnosis. For example, a person with chondrosarcoma that has not spread has a 91% chance of surviving for 5 years after diagnosis.
10Can a spinal tumor be seen on xray?
In addition to X-rays, the most common tests used to identify and diagnose a spinal tumor include: ... An MRI scan can show details in the spine that can't normally be seen on an X-ray. MRIs, which can show the softer tissues, can detect disease tumor earlier than X-rays and CT scans


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