The spine is a crucial body part that is often uncared for. Like many other parts of the body, the spine is also prone to developing tumors. A spinal tumor refers to an unusual tissue mass within or surrounding the spinal column or spinal cord. The cells multiply and grow uncontrollably, which remains unnoticed by the mechanisms controlling normal cells.
Several types of spinal tumors are categorized into primary and secondary spinal tumors. Primary bone spine tumors originate in the spinal cord, whereas secondary or metastatic tumors result from cancerous growth from other sites to the spine. These tumors can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous), and as a spine specialist in Ahmedabad, we have briefly explained four benign spine tumors in this blog.
Osteoid osteoma is a benign bone tumor that usually develops in the hands, legs, fingers, and especially the spine. Vertebrae are bones of the spine whose rear (posterior) portion is generally affected by this tumor. They can develop in any level of the vertebrae, i.e., the neck (cervical), upper and middle back (thoracic), lower back (lumbar), or the spine’s base (sacral).
These tumors are small and cannot grow more than 0.75 inches or 1.5-2 centimeters. Osteoid osteomas can cause a dull and aching pain that does not worsen with activities. However, it becomes worse at night and is often treated with NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as aspirin.
Osteoblastoma is a rare bone tumor that usually occurs in the legs, feet, hands, and spine bones. It grows slowly and dissolves healthy bone tissue to develop osteoid – an unusual bone material. Since the newly formed bone is weaker than the original and healthy bone, the area around the tumor becomes prone to fractures.
Osteoblastoma usually develops in teenagers and young adults between 10 and 30 years of age. This condition is two times more common in males as compared to females. The general symptoms of osteoblastoma in arms or legs accompany swelling and pain. Those originating in the spine’s bones lead to regular back pains and pressure on the nerves. As a result, patients can develop several neurological symptoms like weakness, pain, or numbness in the legs.
Giant Cell Tumor (GCT)
Several cells merge to form a giant cell which results in GCT. It is a benign bone tumor that commonly develops around the wrist, shoulder, knee, or spine joints. This abnormal growth can take place anywhere in the cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, or sacrum.
Due to GCT’s benign nature, these tumors do not spread generally. However, they can, at times, reach the lungs. GCT can accompany symptoms of varying severity, out of which the most common is a painful tumor site. More symptoms can be the result of spinal nerve or cord compression.
The symptoms in all spine levels will differ according to the size and location of the tumor, which can generally include leg or arm weakness, tingling sensation, numbness, and bladder or bowel dysfunction. However, in the sacrum, GCT usually leads to sexual dysfunction, bladder or bowel incontinence, and weakness in the legs.
Aneurysmal Bone Cyst
Aneurysmal Bone Cysts (ABCs) are benign lesions (abnormal changes or damage in the organism’s tissue) in the bones. A thin bone wall surrounds the tumor that can develop in any bone but is usually found in the pelvis, arms, legs, knee, or spine.
Even though an aneurysmal bone cyst is a benign tumor that grows rapidly and does not spread to other parts of the body, diagnosis and treatment are essential as they can accompany symptoms. This tumor is more common in females than males and can regrow in 1 of 5 people even after treatment.
General symptoms of this tumor include pain, stiffness, swelling, weakness, stiffness, restriction of movements, warmth around the tumor site, and deformity in the affected area. These tumors can grow large until the bone fractures.
Even if primary benign tumors are not cancerous, their treatment is important to curb the problematic symptoms some of them can accompany. Our spine tumor specialist in Ahmedabad will thoroughly examine the condition and suggest surgical or nonsurgical treatment options.