Department of Spinal Surgery
Chief Physician

Tumor in Spine Surgery

Professor MD Thomas Gösling

Chief Physician

Patient rating
    4.2/5 (24 votes)
Statistics 2017
  • 1350 patient admission
  • 15 physicians
  • 44 medical staff
  • 1056 excisions of diseased intervertebral disc tissue
  • 172 bone replacements on the spine
  • 162 spinal fusions
  • 391 other operations on the spine
  • 248 osteosynthesis (dynamic stabilization) on the spine

Tumor in Spine Surgery

Operating of tumor on spine is one of specializations given as comprehensive service in Clinic of Braunschweig. The surgeons of Neurosurgery Clinic, Orthopedic Surgery Department, Trauma Surgery Clinic and the doctors of Cancer Center work in cooperation to provide the patients high professional level of service. Treatment both of malignant and benign tumors are held in the clinic. The goal of the specialists is not only resection of spine tumor but also preserving the spine column and spinal cord with all their function including neurological aspects and moving ability.

Tumor on Spine Symptoms

Even benign tumor of the spine can worsen quality of patients’ life significantly as it might create compression symptoms and neurological complications.

The main signs of having back tumor are following:

  • Focal back or neck pain
  • Condition is worse in the night or in the morning
  • Pain is not improving with rest
  • Severe pain when pressing in the pain center
  • Symptoms as loss of appetite, nausea, unexpected weight loss can indicate possibility of cancer

Types of Spine Tumors

The common types of the spine tumors depending on the layers affected are following:

Vertebral Column Tumors

Vertebral tumors are extradural – located outside the membrane covering the spinal cord – bone lesions developing in the spine that could be both cancerous and non cancerous.

Among primary extradural (another name is ‘epidural) lesions you could name lymphoma tumor of spine. Lymphoma is blood cell malignant neoplasm that present in variety of types. In some older classification it is used division to Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Though it is quite rare in spine, 9% of all epidural neoplasms are lymphomas. In 75% of cases lymphoma develops in thoracic spine; then, lumbar lymphoma follows; and the last location where it is occur is cervical spine. Mostly this specie of spine tumors is present in vertebral body but sometimes can be found in intradural tissues.

Hemangioma is another kind of tumors on spine, mostly non-cancerous, that affect vertebral body. It is common for children and younger adults (less than 30 years old). From mild to medium degree it is treated with conservative methods but, in case of severe aggressive lesion with related neurological issues, surgery may be indicated as the best option.

Intradural-Extramedullary Tumors

This group of spine tumors is related to mostly benign lesions growing inside the spinal canal under membrane that cover the spinal cord called ‘dura’ but outside the nerves.

The common types of those tumors are:

  • Meningioma. Bening tumor in membrane of spinal cord or brain.
  • Nerve sheath tumor or neurofibroma. Spine tumor that arises from the nerve root.

Intramedullary Tumors

Intramedullary tumors develop inside the spinal cord and inside the nerves and often relates to glial cells transformation. This type of spine tumors as a rule occurs in cervical (neck) region. Among the kind of intramedullary lesions the two most common are:

  • Astrocytomas
  • Ependymomas

Surgery for Spine Tumors

The surgery is main treatment for all the back tumors, both malignant and benign, compressing the spinal cord. The mode of treatment for spine tumor in Clinic of Braunschweig is usually decided by the multidisciplinary team involving neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, thoracic surgeons, radiologists and other specialists from related fields. The different approaches can be applied depending on tumor type, location and degree of development.

Thoracic spine is the most affected region, 75 % of all the back tumors are found in thorax. There are the types of surgical approach for thoracic spine tumors:

  • Anterior approach
  • Posterior approach
  • Mixed technique (anterior-posterior)

Which approach is better is still controversial and it is decided individually what to have. Posterior approach when incision is made from the back is more common but it has some limitations. Anterior approach allows direct access and better visualization. Mixed techniques combines advantages of the both but have higher risk of complication. Only qualified specialists can estimate all pros and cons.

Apply for Treatment with Spine Experts

Earlier spinal surgery was considered exclusively a part of neurosurgery. With development of orthopedics many newer methods were supplemented and orthopedics surgeon took their place among the leading specialists in spine surgery. In Clinic of Braunschweig the personnel of both the Neurosurgery Clinic under the direction of Prof. Dr. Wolf Peter Sollmann and the Trauma Surgery Clinic, led by Prof. Dr. Heinrich Reilmann, already have a lot of experience with patients with spine disorders. The accident surgeon Dr. Ernst Rzesacz and neurosurgeon Dr. Martin Willmann together with the other assistant staff performed a number of operations on spine tumors. They have on their account complex 9-hours surgery on removing of tumor on vertebral column together with vertebral body following by stabilizing procedures. Such challenges give a proof to the specialists of new Spine Center of the clinic as most skillful and qualified surgeons in Germany. If you wish to have surgery with real experts of spine problems, please apply online to our clinic.

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