The spine is made up of five different sections, and the lumbar region is part of the lower back and includes vertebrae L1 through L5. While all parts of the spine are important, the lumbar region supports most the body’s weight and features wide, large vertebrae in order to offer support and stability for the skeleton.
Abnormal growths on the spine are known as neoplasms, and may be classified as malignant or benign, just as other tumor growths. Benign tumor growths do not invade other tissues around the spine, but are harmful to the bone, while malignant tumors may be harmful to the spine and spread to other areas and organs in the body.
There are many symptoms of spinal tumors, including:
• Spinal deformity
• Back and leg pain
• Partial paralysis
• Leg or arm numbness and weakness
It is important to remember that these are symptoms of a possible lumbar tumor, but if you suffer from these, it is not always an indication of tumor growth. The diagnosis process includes medical history, physical exam, and neurological exam. Lab imaging or additional tests may be needed to confirm a diagnosis.
To determine the type of growth, a variety of imaging studies and lab tests will take place. Lab tests include:
• Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
• Serum Protein Electrophoresis
• Acid Phosphatase
• Complete blood count
• Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
Imaging Studies include:
• Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
• CT Scan with Myelogram
• Technetium Bone Scan
Once tests and images are complete, a biopsy of the tumor is taken through a sample of the tissue. The tissue sample, after examination, will determine if the cells are cancerous. Biopsy samples may be taken either by a needle and image guidance or through an incision.
Surgery will be recommended to reduce pain, allow for spinal stability and preserve function of the spinal cord. During the procedure, incisions are made from the anterior (front or side of chest) or posterior (back). Through the incisions, the tumor will be excised (either fully or partially, depending on type of cells found through testing). Fusion of the spine will repair any damage to the bones and provide stability after the procedure. In severe cases, instrumentation, such as rods or wires, will be used to keep the spine straight.
Treatment options depend on the type of tumor discovered through testing. Many specialists are required to determine a diagnosis, including:
• Spinal surgeon
• Pain management specialist
The health of the patient also plays a role in treatment options. There are non-surgical options, which include:
• Corset brace
• Pain therapy
• Radiation therapy
There are many benefits to this procedure. The first is to remove a tumor that is cancerous, as it may spread to other parts of the body. The removal of a benign tumor will reduce pain, increase function and mobility of the spine and reduce the occurrence of damage to the bone. Often, when a tumor is removed from the spine, many symptoms and pain are alleviated.
In the United States, the cost of a spinal tumor ranges in price from $30,000 to $45,000 USD, depending on the severity of the tumor and treatment options. In Thailand, the same procedure costs between $10,000 and $15,000 USD. Additional tests or physical therapy can increase these estimated costs.
Any type of spinal procedure or treatment should be overseen by an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in spinal care and spinal surgeries. Orthopedic surgeons should be certified and experienced in all types of spinal surgeries, including cervical, thoracic and lumbar procedures and techniques, and belong to recognized organizations and associations. An oncologist and a vascular surgeon may also be required, depending on the size, location and state of the tumor involved. Consumers should always verify the experience and training of surgeons, facilities and support staff to ensure proper training and expertise, certification, and accreditation for any suggested procedures or techniques.
For more information about the Lumbar Tumor Removal treatment and information about the best clinics offering the procedure, please contact us!
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