Extradural Spinal Tumour

What is Extradural Spinal Tumour?

The spinal cord is surrounded by tough fibrous covering called the dura. The spinal cord and dura are located within the vertebral column. Tumours can occur in any of these parts. There are three types of spinal tumour classified according to their location. Intramedullary tumour, which occurs within the substance of the spinal cord itself or generally in the cervical spinal cord. They are considered most uncommon. They are associated with a dilated fluid cavity called syrinx. Extradural tumour, is a type that grows within the supporting network of cells around the spinal cord. They usually originate in the vertebrae. They can be metastatic or can spread from the primary tumour site through the blood to the spinal cord. The third kind is the Intradural-extramedullary tumour, which grows between the spinal cord and the dura. Such tumours can cause spinal cord compression.

These kind of tumours are generally rare, and constitute about 4% of all kinds of spinal tumours. These tumours can give various surgical challenges and their aggressive nature makes it difficult to achieve a clean tumour margin, while reducing the condition of being diseased heavily. However, some molecular drugs, might increase rates of survival and improve overall outcomes.


The following may be the symptoms associated with the extradural spinal tumour:

  • Pain in the cervical spine or back.
  • Weakness of arms and legs.
  • Pinching in the nerves.
  • Decrease in the sensitivity of the bowel and involuntary urination.
  • Back pain accompanied by unplanned weight loss.
  • Vomiting or fever, chills or shakes.
  • Paralysis occurring in different parts of the body.



Although, it is difficult to tell the causes of this disease, some of the probable causes include:

  • Defective genes.
  • Exposure to certain chemicals.
  • Inherited syndromes such as neurofibromatosis.



The main risk factors are:

  • Compression of spinal cord and nerves.
  • Loss of movement and sensation.
  • Changes in bowel and bladder function.
  • Permanent nerve damage.



To prevent the occurrence of this disease, there are certain things one should take care of: 

  • Taking a good diet.
  • Avoiding stress.
  • Taking a sound sleep.

How is it diagnosed?

At Medanta, a complete examination of all the organs where the cancer develops is done by means of:


How is treated?

At Medanta, the goal of spinal treatment involves:


  • Removing pressure

    Controls the severe pain that often occurs with these tumour by removing the pressure on the nerve roots.

  • Removing the pressure on the spinal cord

    This pressure is maintained so as to preserve neurological functioning of the nerves.

  • Fixing the structural instability in the spine

    It is reconstructing the unstable spine with a spinal fusion.

  • Nonsurgical treatments

    Nonsurgical treatment options include observation, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Tumours that appear to be changing or progressing may be observed and monitored with regular MRIs. Some tumours responds well to chemotherapy and other radiation therapy. However, there are specific tumours that are radio resistant, and in those cases, surgery may be the only available treatment option.

  • Surgical treatments

    Surgery varies depending upon the type of tumour. In patients with metastatic tumours such as extradural tumours, treatment is primary with a goal to preserve neurological functions, stabilizing the spinal and alleviating the pain. Surgery is mostly performed on spinal tumours to get tissue for the purpose of diagnosis, to relieve the pressure from the spinal cord or to stabilize the spine. Surgery done to remove the tumour is mostly followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy, or both.

When do I contact the doctor?

If you continue to experience persistent and progressive back pain, and/or develop a new kind of pain, you should immediately consult a doctor. 

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