Health in Focus: Spinal Tumors

There are several different kinds of spinal tumors, with varying symptoms.

What Floyd Givens had made it difficult for him to walk.

“I didn’t have stability in my legs, I didn’t have the support that I would need to walk,” he says. “It was awkward and uncomfortable.”

Dr. Jay Jagannathan, with Jagannathan Neurosurgery, helped Floyd get the help he needed. Jagannathan says there are three kinds of spinal tumors and various symptoms.

“One is tumors that are outside the spinal cord itself,” he says. “Almost exclusively those are metastatic tumors that tart elsewhere in the body. Other are tumors that start in the covering of the spine which is called the dura. And most meningioma’s and schwannomas which are normally benign tumors and finally there are some that are within the spinal cadastral stomas and all of these cause symptoms by putting pressure on the spinal cord.”

Jagannathan says when these tumors, they can cause problems with balance and coordination like it did for Floyd.

In his case, surgery was the prescribed solution.

“I think my surgery went well,” he says. “My rehab went well, but I think I may have some other issues that may not be related to Dr. Jay’s surgery on my back. Tried to do sit ups maybe a little too soon, and that was an awakening pain. Difficultly.”

Treatment can include surgery and / or radiation.

“Depending on the type of tumor there are a variety of different treatments,” Jagannathan says. “Almost always when there is compression being caused, surgery is pretty much the main stay. For a lot of the benign types of tumors, which is the case here, it can end with surgery if the tumor is taken out. With some of the malignant tumors, there is normally radiation that is required and that really depends on the specific type of tumor and how respectable a lot of tumors that aren’t respectable you have to rely on adjunct treatments like radiation in many cases.”

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