Spine Tumors Specialist

David Chang, MD-PhD, DABNS

Complex Spine Neurosurgeon located in Roseville, MN

Spinal tumors are abnormal growths that develop in your spinal canal or the structures that make up your spine. These tumors may cause pain or threaten the health of other areas of your body. Board-certified neurosurgeon David Chang, MD-PhD, DABNS, in Roseville, Minnesota, specializes in diagnosing spine tumors and performing complex spine surgery to remove them when needed. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

Spine Tumors Q&A

What are spine tumors?

Spine tumors are an abnormal mass of cells that develop within the spinal cord or spinal column. Spine tumors may be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). 

Dr. Chang categorizes spine tumors by their location, including:

Intramedullary tumors

Intramedullary tumors are abnormal growths that start within the cells of your spinal cord.

Extramedullary tumors

Extramedullary tumors are growths that develop within the supportive network of cells around your spinal cord. 

Intradural-extramedullary tumors

An intradural-extramedullary tumor is an abnormal growth found inside the covering of the spine but not within the spinal cord. 

What are the symptoms of spine tumors?

Pain in the middle or lower portion of your back is the most common symptom of a spine tumor. The back pain occurs without any known underlying injury.

With a spine tumor, pain tends to worsen over time and may radiate into the hips, legs, or arms. You may also experience muscle weakness or difficulty walking or maintaining balance.

These symptoms occur whether your spine tumor is benign or malignant, interfering with the ability to manage your daily life. If you have back pain without a known cause, Dr. Chang can help.  

How are spine tumors diagnosed?

When you visit Dr. Chang with concerns about worsening back pain, he conducts a comprehensive exam to find the root cause of your discomfort. He reviews your symptoms and medical history and examines your back and spine.

Dr. Chang performs imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs to confirm or rule out a spine tumor. If the images indicate a tumor, he takes a biopsy of the growth to determine if it’s benign or malignant.

How are spine tumors treated?

Treatment for spine tumors may depend on type, location, and size. However, because your spine is a crucial and delicate part of your body, Dr. Chang often recommends surgery to remove the growth. 

Even removing a portion of the tumor provides relief from symptoms and may slow down the abnormal tissue growth. Following partial removal of your spine tumor, you may undergo radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

For smaller spine tumors, Dr. Chang may suggest you start with radiotherapy or chemotherapy. 

Spine tumors are rare but treatable. Call the office of David Chang, MD-PhD, DABNS, or schedule an appointment online today.