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Spinal Tumours - Diagnosis, Symptoms & Signs

The symptoms of a tumour of the spine mostly start with worsening persistent back pain, getting worse at night while resting. Depending on the position of the tumour, it can cause compression of a nerve or even the cord, which can cause arm or leg pain or even cause paralysis. If there is a known primary tumour, the doctor may suspect a secondary tumour in the spine and refer for urgent evaluation and management. Some tumours cause a fracture of the vertebra along with sudden, severe back pain.

The diagnosis will be mainly through a magnetic scan (called an MRI) of the spine. The MRI will show exactly how much the spinal canal is narrowed and how much it is affecting the spinal cord. A plain x-ray and/or a CT scan (computer tomography) will show the bone structure with fine details which can confirm the diagnosis and help the doctor with therapy planning. Sometimes biopsies are needed for diagnosis of spinal tumours.
The Patient Line website offers information for patients with spinal conditions:
Sciatica, back pain, spinal stenosis, disc herniation, scoliosis and many other spine conditions explained in a clear reliable, and trustworthy way. Not for profit EUROSPINE experts are here to help patients and their families understand what may be worrying them.

EUROSPINE is a society of spine specialists of various disciplines with a large knowledge of spine pathologies. All well-known and accepted treatment modalities for spine pathologies are represented by the members of the society. However, the Society cannot accept any responsibility for the use of the information provided; the user and their health care professionals must retain responsibility for their health care management.
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page last updated on 21.08.2019