What are treatment options for spinal tumor patients?
Dr. Matthew Colman, head of the Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush Spine Tumor Center is experienced in treating spinal tumors from a foundation of evidence-based medicine and using a wide array of non-operative treatments for spinal tumors. A correct diagnosis and understanding pf the specific tumor type is key to selecting the proper treatment. Non-operative treatments may include simple observation, medications or radiotherapy. Rush University Medical Center is home to a cutting-edge technology involving highly precise radiation therapy and radiosurgery. Dr. Colman also partners with area proton beam centers when it is necessary and appropriate.
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Techniques
When a tumor needs a procedural treatment, Dr. Colman employs the most current technologies to minimize the impact of that procedure. Examples include the use of radiofrequency ablation (RFA), cryoablation and kyphoplasty, all of which are done without an incision through a needle. In addition, Dr. Colman may recommend an open surgical approach using minimally invasive spine surgery techniques.
Dr. Colman takes a patient-centered approach, and discusses the goals and risks involved in surgery with each patient. Just as each person is unique, so too is the type of surgery which may be required.
In order to make surgery as safe as possible, Dr. Colman uses a comprehensive approach to patient safety. Dr. Colman incorporates the latest advances in infection elimination, intraoperative nerve monitoring, computerized navigation surgery and 3D modeling. In addition, he may be able to offer special patient-specific implants which are manufactured specifically for your anatomy and surgical procedure.
Benign (non-cancerous) and metastatic cancerous tumors are often removed with minimal disruption to surrounding normal tissues. The goals of surgery are to obtain a proper diagnosis, eliminate the tumor, and to take pressure off the spinal cord or nerves. Reconstruction of the spine is usually not needed but in some instances may be required to improve function.
If a primary malignant (cancerous) tumor is present, there may be the opportunity for a permanent cure of the tumor. Dr. Colman specializes in the complete removal of these tumors with a margin of normal tissue, which gives the patient the best chance for the tumor not to come back. He also specializes in complex spinal reconstruction after these types of procedures.
If the decision is made to go forward with a surgical treatment, the priorities will be to effectively remove the tumor, maximize function and quality of life and to minimize risk of complications.