Why choose us for spine tumor care?

BJC HealthCare works with Washington University physicians, BJC Medical Group, and providers across the region to deliver extraordinary care. Spinal tumors can affect your bones (vertebrae), spinal cord or its protective covering. They form near delicate tissue controlling movement and senses, which is why it’s essential to receive care from a top program such as ours. Internationally renowned neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons who maintain excellent outcomes guide your care. We offer: 

  • Uncommon expertise: Our experts deliver outstanding care and lead research that’s advancing the field. We are part of Siteman Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Missouri. U.S. News & World Report also ranks BJC locations among the top cancer facilities in the nation. You can count on us for an accurate diagnosis and the best available therapies.
  • Compassion: We recognize the questions spinal tumors may raise about your future. Our expert surgeons take time to listen to what you have to say and offer answers in ways that are easier to understand. We help you make informed care decisions and explain what to expect.
  • Connected and comprehensive care: Spinal tumor experts collaborate with other BJC specialists to deliver seamless, personalized therapies. Your care team may include neurologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, neuroradiologists, neuropathologists (diagnostic specialists) and more. We are in regular communication to tailor therapies that keep your care moving forward.
  • Innovation: Our experts have had a hand in developing promising new surgical techniques for spine tumors. These include minimally invasive surgery with smaller incisions that are gentler on delicate tissue. We are also pioneers in intraoperative MRI, which helps us pinpoint tumor tissue during surgery with precision.
Types of spine tumors we treat

Our expertise includes noncancerous (benign) and cancerous spine tumors, including:

  • Chondrosarcoma of the spine
    Bone cancer affects cartilage cells that sometimes develop in your spine.
  • Chordoma
    This slow-growing cancer can develop in any part of your spine. But it usually occurs toward the top or bottom of your spine.
  • Eosinophilic granuloma
    Benign tumors occur when there is an excess of immune cells. They typically grow near large bones but can also develop in your spine.
  • Giant cell tumors
    Benign bone tumors develop in many parts of your body, including your vertebrae. These tumors typically affect joints of the lower extremities, like the knee, lower thigh and upper shin bone.
  • Osteoblastoma
    This noncancerous bone tumor typically occurs in the long bones of your legs and vertebrae of your lower spine.
  • Schwannoma
    Tumors develop in Schwann cells, which protect your peripheral nervous system.
  • Spinal astrocytoma
    Spinal cord tumor starts in star-shaped cells called astrocytes that support nerve system functioning.
  • Spinal meningioma
    Benign, slow-growing tumors affect your spinal cord's protective membranes (meninges).
Spinal tumors treatments we offer

Non-surgical treatments may remove trace levels of cancer that remain after spinal tumor surgery. You may also benefit from these therapies if you cannot have surgery. These treatments may shrink the tumor and provide symptom relief. Offerings include specialized support throughout your care journey.

Non-surgical spinal tumor treatments include:

  • Chemotherapy
    Cancer-fighting drugs and other substances to halt abnormal cell growth, including cancer cells.
  • Spine Rehabilitation (Rehab)
    After spine surgery or a traumatic injury, therapists in inpatient and outpatient settings help you regain the highest level of functioning.
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
    This option uses special technology to deliver a high radiation dose with precision.
Spinal tumor surgery we offer

Surgery is the primary treatment for spinal tumors. Our team uses sophisticated techniques to deliver the safest, least invasive treatment. And our experience in treating a high volume of spinal tumors helps us remove them successfully while protecting your spinal cord and column.

Your procedure may involve:

  • En bloc spondylectomy
    Surgeons remove the entire tumor, including vertebrae tissue. This procedure is for giant cell tumors, which can recur if not removed in this manner.
  • Corpectomy
    We remove only the front part of your vertebrae (vertebral body) and use a bone graft to restore spine stability.
  • Intraoperative MRI
    This tool allows us to use real-time MRI images in the operating room. You never have to be moved or repositioned during surgery and neurosurgeons operate with better precision.
  • Skull base surgery
    We access and treat tumors near the top of your spinal column or cord by passing tiny instruments through openings in the back of your nose.
  • Vertebroplasty
    This procedure is for tumors that cause your vertebra to fracture. We inject medical-grade cement into the fracture to prevent further bone damage.
  • Reconstructive surgery
    Reconstructing limbs and joints after severe injuries, including skin grafts, bone grafts and an artificial joint, if necessary.
Spinal Tumors News & Resources

Schedule your appointment

Call (314) 362-9355 or (800) 392-0936 to schedule your appointment with a specialist.