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Conditions

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Spine Tumors and Spinal Cord Tumors

Primary

Several types and they originate in the spinal cord substance or surrounding spaces.

Metastatic

Denotes that the tumor has come from somewhere other than the spinal cord or bony surrounding structures. These are diagnosed with CT or MRI scans. Symptomatic patients may require a combination of surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.

Spine Vascular Malformation

  • Hemangioma
  • Arteriovenous malformation
  • Arteriovenous fistulas

Spine Trauma

Compression Fracture

A break in one or more spinal bones that typically results from trauma. These can be equally as painful as breaking any bone in your body. These can be treated without surgery. Surgery treatment options include cementation procedures such as Kyphoplasty or Vertebroplasty.

Burst Fracture

More severe and unstable fracture and can be treated surgically.

Spinal Cord Injury

Disc Herniation

These are a common cause of low back and extremity pain. Severe cases can cause muscle weakness, tingling or numbness. Most of these can be managed with physical therapy, rest and anti-inflammatory medications. Some patients may require epidural injections or surgery to remove the herniated disc.

Disc Degeneration

Typically a wear and tear phenomenon. Results when discs become dehydrated and can cause calcium build-up as well. Most patients are managed with physical therapy, massage therapy, chiropractic care, epidural injections and medications. Some refractory cases go on to require surgery.

Myelopathy

Is a more ominous finding caused by spinal cord damage or dysfunction. This can result in weakness and other neurological issues. These patients can go on to require surgery to prevent future issues, but oftentimes, this is an irreversible issue.

Spine Infection

Discitis

This is an uncommon infection of the nucleus pulposus (central gelatin-like substance that makes up part of the disc space) with involvement of the cartilaginous endplate. There are several causative factors that can predispose patients to this condition – diabetes, compromised immune system, recreational drug use and it is an uncommon, but known complication of some surgical procedures. Also, this can result from an extension of infectious foci with subsequent spread via the blood. The presenting symptoms vary depending on the location, but are not limited to pain and neurologic dysfunction Sometimes the diagnosis can be very difficult to make and surgical sampling of the affected area might be necessary.

Treatment options include antibiotics and/or surgery.

Abscess

This disease results in a localized ‘pocket’ of infection in the tissues or can surround critical neural structures. They are usually seen in the epidural space (dura is tissue that covers the nerves and brain); however, rarely the infection can occur in the actual enclosed dural space or subdural space. These infections can result from spread via the blood from other sites of infection. Uncommonly, they can result from surgical procedures. Patients can have fevers, chills, pain or neurologic compromise.

Treatment options include surgery and antibiotics.

Osteomyelitis

Denotes an infection which has affected the bone. This can require surgery for diagnosis or treatment. Long-term antibiotics can become necessary as well.

Spinal Hemorrhage

Bleeding into the spaces surrounding the spinal cord or sac. Symptomatic patients may require surgery to remove the blood.