The vast majority of spinal tumours are secondary from a site elsewhere in the body. When diagnosed, patients often have a history of increasing pain with no variation during the day or indeed from day to day. There are often neurological complaints as well as spinal pain, there may well be an associated history of malaise, weight loss, sweats and loss of appetite. All of these clearly require urgent investigation.
Spinal tumours are evaluated in a similar way to fractures. A decision is made regarding whether they require surgical treatment or indeed physical therapy. It is also likely that either radiotherapy or chemotherapy would be necessary in conjunction with the therapy or surgery.
Surgery in these conditions is generally employed for either decompressing a nerve which is compressed by a tumour and/or stabilising a spine which is collapsing due to a tumour. Clearly the condition of the patient is taken into account and the sort of treatment offered is individualised. Occasionally as in fractures, an approach through the front of the spine is needed and that is decided upon an individual patient basis.