Inside the dura (Intradural-extramedullary), tumors grow under the membrane that covers the spinal cord (spinal canal), but outside of the nerves. These tumors usually grow slowly and are benign but cause pain and weakness in the patient.
Meningioma (occurring in the membranes that surround the spinal cord) is malignant and benign and is usually seen in elderly and middle aged women.
Neurofibromas and Schwannomas (Nerve sheath tumors) that arise from the nerve roots (that come off the spinal cord). Even this tumor is slow to grow and benign and may take years before any neurological issues occur.
This type of tumor is usually surgically removed and neurological function is preserved.
As the nerves and spinal cord is extremely sensitive, the surgery is done with extreme efficiency and caution to avoid any form of damage to these structures. Post-surgery, rehabilitation is required to help the nerves completely heal and to improve neurological function of the patient.
If tumor adheres to the spinal nerves (and cannot be removed completely), postoperative radiation therapies may be used to improve the outcome. Chemotherapy may also help if the tumor is metastatic
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