Spinal Tumors

Spinal Tumor Overview

Tumors are abnormal tissue growths. Spinal tumors grow on the spine bones or the spinal cord. Skull tumors grow on the skull bones. Patients who experience tumor symptoms should make an appointment with a Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates’ (CONA) tumor specialist as soon as possible.

Symptoms & Causes

Spinal tumor symptoms include:

  • Back pain
  • Extremity pain and weakness
  • Decreased pain, hot and cold sensations
  • Difficulty walking
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Loss of bladder or bowel function
  • Radiating pain

Skull tumor symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Decreased smell sensation
  • Double vision
  • Headaches
  • Hearing loss
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Trouble swallowing

Spinal tumor and skull base tumor causes are not known.

Common Treatments:

After a thorough evaluation, a CONA shoulder specialist may recommend monitoring the tumor or:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery


A CONA tumor specialist uses a step-by-step diagnostic approach:

  • A complete medical history is obtained
  • A thorough neurosurgical evaluation is performed
  • A thorough physical examination is performed
  • An MRI and CT scan are ordered and analyzed

A biopsy is usually performed. A tiny needle is used to take a small tissue sample. The sample is sent to a lab for analysis. Lab results are sent to the CONA tumor specialist for review.

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