Meningiomas are non-cancerous tumors that arise from the dura, or covering of the brain and spinal cord. Spinal meningiomas can exert pressure on the spinal cord, causing numbness, pain, and weakness.
Because these tumors generally are slow growing, the symptoms may arise only after significant spinal cord compression.
Surgical treatment for spinal meningiomas is similar to that of cranial meningiomas:
1. Expose the tumor (dedress).
2. Coagulate its blood supply (devascularize).
3. Remove the inside portion of the tumor (debulk).
4. Carefully separate the tumor from the spinal cord (dissect).
All surgical moves are directed away from the spinal cord. Surgery is usually done while monitoring spinal cord function.
The patient’s outcome correlates to their pre-operative condition and technical success of the surgery. Calcified and adherent tumors are more difficult to safely remove.