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Spine Tumor Program

Spine imageCaring for patients with spine tumors requires the cooperative work of multiple teams. At Confluence Health, our spine surgeons, oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, physiatrists, and physical therapists all work together to improve the quality of life for patients dealing with these conditions.

Our neurosurgeons, along with our orthopedic spine surgeon, provide the consultative and surgical services needed to remove tumors and stabilize the spine if it has been weakened by cancer. In some cases, our interventional radiologists will perform a biopsy to obtain a diagnosis. Our pathologists provide the diagnosis needed to determine the next steps in care. In some cases, the tumors are benign and do not need any additional treatment. In others, the tumors may be cancerous. In these cases, the oncology team provides chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, and other medications to treat the cancer.

The radiation oncology team performs a variety of treatment modalities, including fractionated treatment and stereotactic radiosurgery, to further treat the cancer. Physiatrists and physical therapists assist patients by improving strength and compensating for any neurologic limitations they may have from their tumors.

Spine tumors treated include:

  • Metastases (tumors which have spread to the spine from another location)
  • Meningiomas
  • Schwannomas
  • Astrocytomas
  • Ependymomas
  • Plasmacytoma
  • Multiple myeloma

Surgical procedures performed in the management of spinal tumors include:

  • Decompressive laminectomy and tumor resection
  • Biopsy
  • Corpectomy
  • Cervical, thoracic, and lumbar fusions
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Intraoperative neuro-monitoring

Untreated spine tumors can cause severe disability, including paralysis of arms, legs, or even bowel or bladder function. However, with aggressive treatment, many of these disabilities can be prevented and sometimes reversed. Our surgeons work closely with other team members to provide the safest treatment options and to maintain patients’ quality of life throughout the process of treating their spine tumors.

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