Spinal cord tumors are the tumors inside or in the lining of the spinal cord enclosed in the vertebral column. These tumors may be benign or metastatic. These tumors are classified on the basis of their location and size.
In this article, the best spine surgeon Dr. Kalyan Bommakanti has explained the Intradural-extramedullary and extradural spinal cord tumors.
- Intradural-extramedullary tumors:
The outermost layer of the spinal cord is the dura sheath. The tumors developed in this sheath but outside the spinal cord are the intradural-extramedullary tumors. Usually, these tumors are benign. The symptoms may include weakness and pain.
Intradural-extramedullary tumors are further divided into the following sub-types:
These spinal tumors are formed in the membranes covering the spinal cord. These tumors are more common in women than men and appears usually in the back in the upper portion. They may be cancerous or not, but usually, they are not cancerous. As the tumor grows, symptoms like pain, weakness, numbness, or bowel/bladder incontinence can be seen.
A Neurofibroma occurs in the outer layering and the nerves of the spine. Usually, it accompanies a condition called neurofibromatosis. This condition is responsible for causing spinal tumors. The growth rate of these tumors is slow.
This type of spinal cord tumor is caused by Schwann cells, these cells produce myelin sheath for the protection of the nerves. It may be congenital. In most cases, they are non-cancerous however they may grow in size and put pressure on the spinal cord. It may result in symptoms like pain, weakness, or numbness.
2. Extradural tumor:
A tumor that is formed outside the dura is known as the extradural tumor. Usually, they are metastatic and have spread from any other part of the body. These tumors also involve the vertebral column. Almost 55% of the spinal cord tumors occur in this part of the spine.