Your spine or backbone is composed of 26 bone discs, known as vertebrae. The vertebra shields your spinal cord and allows you to bend forwards and backwards, and stand. However, a number of problems, such as the following can change the structure or cause the vertebrae and its surrounding tissues to become damaged –
Spinal disorders often lead to pain and discomfort when bony projections put pressure on the spinal nerves or cord. Over time, spinal disorders limit movement and reduce flexibility.
Treatment varies depending on the disease, ranging from medications and therapy to bracing and surgery.
Endoscopic Spine Surgery: what is it?
Contradictory to traditional open surgery, the new age endoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure used to detect and treat a disorder. Unlike open surgery, minimally invasive endoscopic surgery does not require the patient to undergo general anaesthesia. The procedure is possible under local anaesthesia, considering the fact that it can be performed without cutting open the portion of the surgery site.
How does surgery work?
During the procedure, the surgeon first administers local anaesthesia to numb the site of the operation. You will be awake during the entire procedure but will not feel any pain. Then, he/she will make a small incision and insert a slender, tubular instrument – known as an endoscope – with a camera attached on one end through the soft tissues and skin, down to the spinal column. This allows the surgeon to get a clear view of the spinal tissues and understand where the problem exists. The endoscope holds the muscles open, allowing the surgeon to remove the damaged tissues or disk.
Endoscopic spine surgery preserves normal mobility, as the spine is not fused with rods and crews. When performed under an experienced surgeon, the procedure takes less than an hour.
Benefits of the Procedure -
The advantages of going for endoscopic surgery are the following –
• Local anaesthesia
• Surgery and discharge on the same day
• Microscopic incisions
• No removal of bone or muscles
• Zero or minimal blood loss
• Preserves spinal mobility
• Immediate recovery
• Reduced intake of pain medicines
• The high rate of success
• Improved quality of life
Minimally invasive endoscopic surgery has made it possible to rectify spinal problems and disorders without having to go under the knife. With less pain and quicker recovery, you can improve your spine health and get back to your usual activities in a day or two.
Consult a specialist and discuss the procedure in detail before opting for the same.
Spinal Tumors are an abnormal mass that grows in the spinal cord or around it. Since these tumors occur in the spinal region, whether spinal cord or column, they came to be known as Spinal tumors. The primary tumor originates in the spine, and secondary tumors may grow in the other areas. They can be benign or malignant. Oncologists classify the spinal tumors according to their location and nature of cancer. They can be cervical, thoracic, lumbar or sacrum.
Causes of Spinal Tumor
The causes of spinal tumors are unknown to this day. Generally, cell growth in the tumors are fast and uncontrollably. This makes it difficult for the removal of cancer completely. There can be some harmful components and agents that cause cancer.
Spinal cord cancer generally attacks and affect lymphocytes which are a type of immune cells. People with compromised or low immunity system are more prone to spinal cord lymphoma. There is also a genetic component that can be a probable cause of cancer in people. This genetic disorder creates benign tumors in the tissue layer of the spinal cord.
Symptoms of Spinal Tumor
The symptoms of early spinal tumors are rarely seen. However, with the growth of spinal tumor progresses, patients may feel different symptoms that may affect their blood vessels, bones, and nerves connected with the spinal cord. The symptoms related to spinal tumors include:
Senselessness at back
Difficulty in walking
Pain at the site of the tumor
Loss of bowel
Loss of bladder function
Weak sensation in the muscles especially in arms and legs
Pain originating from the back and radiating to other parts as well
Since the grown of the tumor is unknown, the early symptoms only show back pain. Gradually this pain travels to lower back, hips, legs, and arms which worsen with time. Spinal tumors progress at a different rate.
Since the symptoms of spinal tumors are prevalent, it is generally overlooked by many doctors and patients. Hence, it is necessary that doctor examining you should be aware of your medical history. The diagnosis includes physical and neurological examinations. The following methods can determine spinal tumors:
MRI Scan: MRI is the most effective way to look into the body organs. It uses a compelling, magnetic field, and radio waves to get the images of the spinal cord without operating the patient. Dye is injected into the spinal cord, and the doctors the determine the tissue mass that is developing in the spine region with the accumulation of dye in the region. It is the most preferred method to detect a tumor in the spine.
CT Scan: CT scans are a cheaper option than MRI. It is generally used to scan spinal tumor when the patient is claustrophobic or cannot afford for MRI scan. Similar to the MRI scan, the dye is injected in the spinal region of the patient when performing a CT scan.
Biopsy: This method is used when doctors observe the development of a mass in the spinal cord of the patient. A small piece of the mass is retrieved and diagnosed under a microscope to understand the type and nature of the tissue mass developing in the spine of the patient.
Spinal tumors once detected requires thorough medical treatment and surgeries. Consult with the expert oncologist and get yourself checked. If avoided, it may lead to a severe threat to life.