Patients who are in need of renowned medical expertise to treat a spinal tumor can find everything they need here at NYSI. A spinal tumor is an abnormal mass of tissue within or surrounding the spinal cord or spinal column. Tumors of any degree can be a cause of panic or concern, and many will be categorized based off of certain indicators. Our medical staff is well educated and experienced with the complexities of spinal tumors and are here to help you understand your condition.*

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Quality Care

We treat every patient that comes through our doors with respect, dignity, and care. We understand that a high level of compassion is just as important as providing top medical procedures.*

Industry Leaders

Our medical staff here at NYSI is recognized around the world for our knowledge and experience with spinal conditions, including tumors of the spine. Led by Alexandre B. de Moura, M.D., FAAOS we are here to walk you through your diagnosis and options.*

Multiple Languages

In order to provide personalized care on a daily basis we are proud to offer our patients medical staff who can speak variety of languages. You can find doctors, surgeons, and other members of NYSI proficient in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, and Russian.*

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Understanding the Causes Of Tumors of the Spine

Unfortunately, the cause behind most spinal tumors is unknown. There are some possibilities such as the exposure to cancer-causing agents, but for a majority, the reason why abnormal cells begin to grow on/around the spine is uncertain.*

Tumors of the spine can be described as:

  • Benign- Noncancerous
  • Malignant- Cancerous
  • Aggressive- Developing rapidly
  • Slow growing- Developing slowly
  • Metastatic- Spread of cancer from one part of the body to another
  • Primary tumor- The original tumor in metastatic disease
  • Secondary tumor- The spread of the primary tumor

Spinal tumors can be referred to by the region they are found in; cervical, thoracic lumbar, and sacrum are all regions of the spine where a tumor can form. Their specific locations are broken down into three groups: intramedullary, extradural, and intradural-extramedullary.

In some cases, genetic components or diseases may cause a primary tumor to form on the spine which is why doctors will conduct a thorough family and medical history exam.*

Dr. Alexandre de Moura - NY Spine Institute - Long Island spine surgeon, manhattan back surgeon
Alexandre B. de Moura, M.D., FAAOS

Cervical Lumbar Spine Specialist, Medical Director
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Diagnosing Tumors of the Spine

When one of our experienced doctors examines you they will conduct a complete medical examination, taking special note of any back pain or neurological issues. They will then perform one of the following radiological tests to determine a positive diagnosis.

  • X-ray– Shows structure of vertebrae and joints
  • Computed tomography scan (CT scan)– Images that can reveal the shape and size of the spinal canal
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)– Produces 3D images of spinal cord, nerve roots, and tumors

After results of the radiological images are examined, and the confirmation of a spinal tumor is made, the next step is to determine whether it is benign or malignant. A small tissue sample will be taken through a biopsy procedure and will be examined under a microscope. Doctors and specialists will then compare findings and make a multidisciplinary plan of action which may include surgical or nonsurgical methods.*

Peter Passias M.D. FAAOS - NY Spine Institute Staff Link
Peter Passias, M.D.

Cervical, Lumbar, Adult & Pediatric Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Specialist
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Treatment Options For Tumors of the Spine

Depending on varying factors your doctor may recommend a course of treatment that is either surgical or nonsurgical, keeping your overall health as a top priority. Our board-certified surgeons can perform proper procedures when all other options are exhausted. For spinal tumors that are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, observation of the tumor or radiation therapy may be recommended.* 

Surgical Treatment:

There are multiple factors that doctors take into consideration before operating on a spinal tumor.

  • Whether it’s benign or malignant
  • Size and location of the tumor
  • Neurologic deficits
  • Spinal instability, vertebral fracture, or destruction of vertebral bone
  • Bowel or bladder dysfunction
  • Severe pain

Typically, spinal surgery is considered for those with metastases who have a life expectancy of 12 weeks or longer. Other reasons for spinal tumor surgery are when radiation and chemotherapy fail to take effect. Possible spinal surgery procedures may include*:

  • Decompression Removing the entire tumor or part of it.
  • Embolization– A technique that slows or cuts off the tumors blood supply causing it to shrink.
  • Kyphoplasty or Vertebroplasty– Minimally invasive surgical procedures that provide stabilization to a fractured vertebra and help relieve pain.

*The effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment will vary by patient and condition. New York Spine Institute does not guarantee certain results.

Angel Macagno M.D. FAAOS - NY Spine Institute Staff - Link
Angel Macagno, M.D.

Cervical, Lumbar, Adult & Pediatric Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Specialist

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