Tumour Decompression

What is Spine Tumour?

A spine tumour is the abnormal growth of uncontrolled tissues or cells in and around the spinal cord. Tumours can either be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign). Tumours that begin in the spine are called primary spinal tumours. Tumours that spread to the spine from other parts such as the breast, prostate, lung, and other areas are called secondary spinal tumours.

Types of Spine Tumours

Some of the commonly occurring benign spinal tumours are osteoma, osteoblastoma, haemangioma, and osteochondroma. Most commonly occurring malignant spinal tumours are chondrosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and multiple myeloma.

Symptoms of Spine Tumours

You may experience persistent and chronic back pain, numbness, burning and tingling sensation, loss of sensation in your arms, knees, legs, and ankles, difficulty in balancing, and experience bladder or bowel control problems.

Causes of Spine Tumours

The cause of primary spinal tumours is not known but may occur with genetic defects.

Secondary spinal tumours occur when the cancer cells arise from the kidneys, lungs, breasts, and spread to the spine. The other causes may include:

  • Rapid division of cancer cells in the nerves, bones or cartilage of the spine
  • Exposure to radiations and chemicals
  • Hereditary tumours including neurofibromatosis, a tumour of the spinal nerves

Diagnosis of Spine Tumours

Spine cancer can be diagnosed by neurological examination, which identifies the exact location of the tumour. Other imaging tests ordered may include cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) examination, myelogram, spine computed tomography scan, spine magnetic resonance imaging scan and spine X-ray. In addition to these tests, a bone scan and positron emission tomography (PET) scan are also done. Once the tumour is found, a biopsy is performed to identify the type of tumour and provide necessary treatment.

What is Spinal Decompression?

Spinal decompression is a treatment to relieve pressure on one or many “pinched nerves” in the spinal column. It can be achieved either surgically or by non-surgical methods. Spinal decompression is used to treat conditions that cause chronic backaches such as herniated disc, disc bulge, sciatica, and spinal stenosis.

What is the Non-surgical Method of Spinal Decompression?

A safe and non-invasive form of spinal decompression therapy nearly 15-24 treatment sessions to achieve the best results.
When undergoing spinal decompression, you will be made to rest on a therapeutic table. This is connected to a computer, which sends electronic information to stretch and decompress the spinal structure. A padded harness is worn and during the spinal decompression session, gentle force is applied to the spinal column, focusing on the area that is being treated. The pressure is applied to decompress the spine, intervertebral discs, and joints. You will experience multiple cycles of treatment lasting for 2-3 minutes at each spinal decompression session. The machine is monitored by a technician.

Even though you may experience relief in a single therapy session, you should complete the full treatment cycle plan to gain complete healing of the injured disc.

What is the Surgical Method of Spinal Decompression?

Surgical spinal decompression is performed by two procedures:

Micro discectomy: This is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the removal of a portion of a herniated nucleus pulposus by a surgical instrument or laser.

Laminectomy: This is a procedure in which a small portion of the arch of the vertebrae is removed to relieve pressure on the pinched nerve. This is performed as a last resort when conservative treatments fail to provide relief from back pain.