Treating Spinal Nerve Sheath Tumors
Category: Back Pain, Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Your spinal nerves are protected by a thin layer of myelin and connective tissue called a nerve sheath. If an issue develops in the cells within this insulative cover, a nerve sheath tumor can develop. The majority of these nerve sheath tumors are non-cancerous, but they will need to be monitored and they can compress nearby structures if they grow in size. Below, we take a closer look at how these spinal nerve sheath tumors are identified and treated.
Nerve Sheath Tumor Causes And Symptoms
Little is known about why spinal nerve sheath tumors develop, although some individuals may be more prone to their onset due to certain genetic conditions. If you have a family history of Neurofibromatosis Type 1, Neurofibromatosis Type 2, or Schwannomatosis, you may be more likely to develop one or more nerve sheath tumors.
Symptoms of spinal nerve sheath tumors include:
- Spine pain
- Tingling sensation
- Muscle weakness
- A spinal bump that is visible or feels different to the touch
Oftentimes nerve sheath tumors are asymptomatic, meaning that they may only be identified when imaging for a different issue. The majority of them are also benign, so if they are noncancerous and not causing symptoms, your only course of action may be watchful waiting. If you are experiencing symptoms or the mass grows larger and begins to cause discomfort, your doctor may recommend treatment.
Diagnosis And Treatment
Nerve sheath tumors are typically uncovered with the assistance of an MRI. If they are revealed during an MRI and the doctor has concerns about the mass, they may order a biopsy to determine if it could be cancerous. As we mentioned above, most nerve sheath tumors are noncancerous and do not require any additional treatment other than regular monitoring following a biopsy.
If the tumor needs to be addressed, your spine specialist may move forward with a few different options. Radiation, chemotherapy and surgical excision are all effective treatment methods, but because you are dealing with a highly specific issue in a delicate part of your spine, it’s imperative that you find a spine specialist who is well-versed in treating nerve sheath tumors. Dr. Sinicropi is confident that he can provide you with the highest level of care or refer you to the right specialist to give you the best chance of a successful outcome.
If you’re dealing with spine pain and want to figure out what’s going on, make sure that you reach out to a specialist. In the Stillwater area, we hope that you’ll connect with Dr. Sinicropi and the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (651) 430-3800.