Cervical Spine Tumors

Both benign and malignant spinal tumours may require surgical intervention before or after treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation. As much of the tumour is removed as possible without causing neurological problems. A minimally invasive tumour removal may be done using the METRx system depending on the size and location of the spinal tumour. A partial or full laminectomy may need to be performed first to reach a tumour in the spinal column or to remove bone around the spinal cord or spinal nerves to relieve pressure from the growing tumour. The primary goals in tumour resection surgery are to reduce pain caused by the spinal tumour, restore or preserve neurologic function and provide spinal stability.

After surgery, activity such as sitting and walking will be allowed as well as activities that do not require stretching of the spine or straining. Lifting is limited during the initial recovery period. You may be required to use a brace or corset after surgery to help with stability. Radiation is often used following surgery to kill remaining tumour cells. You can expect recovery and improvement in symptoms between 2 weeks and several months following surgery. You may need pain management during your recovery, or possibly on a more long-term basis. Physical and occupational therapy may be beneficial to help restore any lost strength, coordination, or other skills. Your surgeon will recommend periodic follow-up with imaging studies.