Spine Tumor Consequences and Surgery Outcome

Monday’s second stage surgery went quite well for my spine tumor patient. The first stage of surgery was completed on Friday because of concerns of fairly significant spinal cord compression secondary to a spinal tumor. My team and I de-bulked this tumor and reestablished the spinal canal diameter anteriorly.

Unfortunately, the tumor had eaten away the local bone at the base of the patient’s cervical spine and neck causing inherent instability. We ultimately, as planned, completed a posterior cervical/thoracic further decompression and fusion with screws and rods. This was necessary because the cervical spine and the thoracic spine tend to have a fair amount of movement once the patient is healed and it is important that the normal bone grow back across this once the tumor treatment has been accomplished. We were fortunate the surgery went well this morning.

The patient later awoke in recovery and was doing quite well. From there, he will go to a private room on the spine floor and then to rehabilitation. I anticipate further treatment for his cancer will be initiated over the course of the next several weeks by an oncologist and radiation oncologist, using the most advanced treatment methods. I project the patient will recover approximately 90 percent or 95 percent, although I think he will be left with some weakness, especially in his hands. He was not able to use his hands very well and his walking had become very poor before surgery. I anticipate he will regain almost all of those features back, although with any type of nerve injury, as he had sustained from this tumor, this can take some time. Rehabilitation and then outpatient physical therapy will help.

We look forward to obtaining postoperative X-rays on this patient. I believe he will be truly pleased with his outcome overall, as are we. The key here is getting him into further treatment for his cancer, as we have previously discussed.

Spine tumor patient before and after surgery