Spinal tumors are rare, but when they do occur, it is usually because tumors from another part of the body have spread (metastasized) to the spine. Tumors may be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). A tumor is any abnormal mass of tissue, and the exact causes of abnormal cell growth are unknown.


Equally painful but less serious are spinal cysts. A cyst is a sac-like pocket of tissue that contains fluid, air or other substances. There are many different types of cyst, and most are benign.

Treatment options for spinal tumors and cysts may be the same. Only a qualified medical professional can determine if your pain is caused by a tumor or a cyst.


Symptoms of spinal tumors

The most common symptom of spinal tumors is back or neck pain that is not related to any sort of physical activity. The pain may come on suddenly, may be worse at night, and will probably not be related to any other known illness or injury. Nerve compression due to tumors may lead to other symptoms such as numbness, paralysis or lower leg pain (sciatica).

Because back pain can be caused by a number of conditions, it is necessary for a medical professional to perform tests and carefully examine a patient’s symptoms in order to make an accurate diagnosis. German doctors are highly-trained professionals and have access to some of the most state-of-the-art imaging technology to see what is going on inside the body. An accurate, specific diagnosis is necessary before treatment can begin.

After other possible causes of back pain have been ruled out, a doctor will perform imaging tests, such as X-ray or MRI, to check for the presence of tumors. If it is determined that tumors are present, a doctor will then perform a biopsy to detect if the tumors are cancerous.
Spinal tumor treatments

The first course of action with any unusual cell growth is to monitor it and see how it develops. Many tumors and cysts gradually decrease in size and eventually go away on their own.

If the patient’s symptoms are severe or the tumors do not appear to be shrinking, medical intervention may be necessary.

Treatment options for spinal tumors

Treatment for spinal tumors can range from:

  • Medication to reduce inflammation, manage pain or maintain bone density
  • Chemotherapy for malignant spinal tumors
  • Radiation therapy, such as CyberKnife treatment
  • Spinal bracing, to take pressure off of the spine and manage pain
  • Spinal surgery

As a general rule, surgery should be used as a last resort and only considered when other treatment options have failed or when the patient’s symptoms are particularly severe.

A doctor may recommend one or a combination of multiple surgical procedures in order to provide the patient better chances for healing and the opportunity for the best possible quality of life after treatment. Some spinal surgeries which may be effective to treat certain types of spinal tumors include:

Only a trained medical professional will make a treatment recommendation based on your specific diagnosis.

Premier Healthcare Germany has contact with some of the top spine and orthopedic surgeons in Germany. Contact us to find out more about treatment for spinal tumors in Germany.