Types of Spinal Tumors

March 13, 2024 by naveenadmin0

A spinal tumor is an atypical mass of cells within your spinal column or the spinal cord. These cells multiply fast and uncontrollably, unhindered by mechanisms that regulate the growth of normal cells. Spinal tumors can be non-cancerous or cancerous. These spinal tumors can push against the spinal cord and nerve roots, affecting several functions.

Different types of spinal tumors based on its origin

Generally, there are two kinds of spinal tumors

Primary spinal tumors

This spinal tumor initiates in the spinal column, like the bones, nerves, discs, and other spinal elements. The primary spinal tumors are commonly non-cancerous, and mostly younger people are affected by them. One of the typical primary spinal tumors is hemangioma, which is benign.  Multiple myeloma and osteosarcomas are two primary spinal tumors that are malignant.

Secondary spinal tumors

Also called metastatic tumors, these are the spinal tumors that spread to the spine from cancers present somewhere else in the body. These are very common in the spine and malignant, with a high potential to extend to other parts of the body. Mainly, the cancerous cells from the prostate, lungs, and breast spread and stay in the spine.

Spinal tumor types depending on their location

Spinal tumors are also classified depending on where they have grown. Such as:

Extradural spinal tumors

It’s a spinal tumor that grows outside the external protective layer of the spinal cord. These are generally metastatic and spread from cancers of other body parts.

Intradural extramedullary tumor

It’s a spinal tumor that develops under the external layer covering the spinal cord. It is mostly benign and grows very slowly, showing symptoms such as pain and fatigue. Two kinds of intradural extramedullary tumors are

  • Meningiomas:  in the membranes surrounding the spinal cord are common among middle-aged women.
  • Nerve sheath tumors: These are the benign tumors that grows from the roots of the nerves of the spinal cord. These tumors stay for several years before they start showing any symptoms.

Intramedullary tumor

It’s a tumor that arises inside the spinal cord and grows from the cells responsible for offering physical support to the glial cells. These tumors occur commonly in the cervical spine and are mostly benign. The two types of tumors are astrocytomas and ependymomas.

Some other spinal tumor types


This is a tumor that occurs in the supporting cells present inside the spinal cord. There are many types of astrocytoma tumors, among which some are benign and some malignant.


These are malignant tumors that grow in your skull and spine. They are formed in the spinal base and tailbone.


This type of tumor forms in the spinal fluid passageways lining the brain and spinal cord.


This malignant tumor grows from cells known as astrocytes, which support the nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain.

Spinal hemangioma

It is a tumor that grows from the tissues of blood vessels present in the spinal column. This is a common primary spinal tumor that is generally benign.


Spinal tumors can be dangerous and pose a high risk to the morbidity of a patient, for which it is essential to diagnose correctly and provide timely treatment.

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Dr Naveen Tahasildar has been treating the whole spectrum of spinal disorders from cervical spine to sacrum by non-operative and operative means using cutting edge technology. These patients include national as well as international from all parts of the world.

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