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Last Updated: Oct 07, 2021

Intradural Extramedullary Spinal Tumour - In Depth!

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Dr. Raghvendra RamdasiNeurosurgeon • 21 Years Exp.MBBS, MS - General Surgery, MCh - Neuro Surgery, FESBS
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Extramedullary intradural tumours are a rarity. Of all the tumours of the nervous system, fewer than 15% are of the spine. And around 45% of them are intradural. And 40% of intradural tumours are extramedullary.

What are some common Intradural Extramedullary Spinal Tumours? 

Some forms of intradural extramedullary spinal tumours are-

  • Schwannomas

  • Meningiomas

  • Gliomas

  • Neurofibromas

What are the Symptoms of Intradural Extramedullary Spinal Tumours?

Some symptoms of this condition are-

  • Back pain

  • Cramps

  • Loss of feeling along the back

  • Loss of spinal flexibility

  • Weakness of the limbs

  • Slight degrees of paralysis

  • Hunched-over spine

If treatment is not sought immediately, the effect of the tumours would penetrate all levels of the spine and may lead to complete paralysis.

How are Intradural Extramedullary Spinal Tumours diagnosed?

A basic physical examination will reveal that there are tumours on the spine. Before treatment commences, the person will have to opt for these tests-

  • An MRI scan

  • A CT scan

  • X-rays

  • biopsy

Treatment of Intradural Extramedullary Spinal Tumours diagnosed?

Doctors do not usually suggest surgery right away. They will first try to vanquish the tumours with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Sometimes a combination of both might be required.

If therapy does not work, surgery will be suggested. During the surgery, resection is done with the aim to assuage pain and stabilize the spine. Preoperative embolization is performed. A catheter is inserted into a vessel of the groin and directed to the tumour. Then a glue-like agent is administered to the vessels that carry blood to the tumour. When this supply is cut off, the tumour will shrink.

After the surgery, a person will be required to stay on in the hospital for a couple of weeks after which rehabilitation may be required to help the patient get back to a normal lifestyle.

Spinal tumours can be fatal. That is why it is important to pay heed to the symptoms and consult a doctor right away.


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