William C. Welch, MD, FACS | Authors

HUMANA MEDICAL PLAN

2216 HOLLYWOOD BLVD

Articles

Current Surgical Management of Metastatic Spinal Disease

July 01, 2000

Despite advances in the treatment of many malignancies, a large number of cancer patients will require evaluation and possible surgical intervention for lesions that have metastasized or directly invaded the spinal column. The need for heightened awareness of and aggressive early intervention for spinal metastases is underscored by many studies that have reported a relationship between pretreatment and posttreatment neurologic function in these patients. Recommendations for operative intervention should be made following an evaluation of the patient by multiple specialties, both medical and surgical. In the last decade, advances in surgical techniques for tumor decompression and spine stabilization, neurophysiologic monitoring, and anesthetic expertise have allowed surgeons to perform more extensive procedures with improved outcomes and reduced morbidity. This article will review the factors favoring an operative recommendation in patients with metastatic spinal disease, preoperative evaluation, and available surgical options. Patients with symptomatic spinal metastases should receive early surgical consultation as part of a multidisciplinary approach to their disease process. [ONCOLOGY 14(7):1013-1024, 2000]