Treatment of neoplastic epidural cord compression by vertebral body resection and stabilization

N. Sundaresan, J. H. Galicich, J. M. Lane, M. S. Bains, P. McCormack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Scopus citations


The results of treatment of neoplastic spinal cord compression by vertebral body resection and immediate stabilization in 101 consecutive patients over a 5-year period have been analyzed. Sites of primary cancer included the lung (25 patients), kidney (15 patients), breast (14 patients), connective tissue (12 patients), and a variety of others (35 patients). Of the 101 patients, 23 received surgery de novo; the remaining 78 patients had undergone previous therapy. Sites of involvement included the cervical region in 13 patients, the thoracic region in 68 patients, and the lumbar region in 20 patients. Prior to surgery, severe pain was noted in 90% of the patients, and 45% were non-ambulatory. Using an anterolateral surgical exposure, the vertebral body was resected along with all epidural tumor. Immediate stabilization was achieved with methyl methacrylate and Steinmann pins. Following surgery, the overall ambulation rate was 78%, and 85% of patients experienced pain relief. Of the 23 patients who had received no prior therapy, 90% continued to be ambulatory at their last follow-up examination or until death. The authors believe that surgery prior to irradiation is indicated in selected patients with neoplastic cord compression. In patients with solitary osseous metastasis to the spine, potentially curative resection can be undertaken if surgery is performed when the tumor is still confined to the vertebral body.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)676-684
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes


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