Spinal tumors can present as primary tumors or as metastatic tumors. They can be benign or cancerous. Invasion of bone by a tumor can result in fracture of the bone. Tumors can also evolve within the spinal canal or along a nerve root. Treatment of spinal tumors is determined based on the type of tumor, the presence of lesions in other parts of the body, the patient’s neurologic status, and the patient’s spinal alignment. If surgical intervention is indicated, the goal of surgery is to decompress the nerves and stabilize the spine.
Infection of the spine can result in bony abnormalities, instability of the spine, poor spinal alignment, and nerve compression. Sometimes infection can be treated with antibiotics. More extensive cases are treated with surgical decompression and stabilization.