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    Spine Cancer

What is spine cancer?  

There are two types of spine cancer:

Primary

This is when a spinal tumour grows on the spine.

Secondary

This is when another form of cancer spreads to the bones of a patient’s spine.

 

What are the symptoms?

Sufferers of spine cancer will feel pain in the back, and may have a neurological deficit which will impact their movement, and show evidence of paralysis. Spine pain due to cancer is frequently bad at night.

Some patients may lose their balance and have bowel or bladder problems such as incontinence or the inability to pass water. In addition, they may experience painful instability or deformities to the shape of the spine.

 

How can it be treated?

If sufferers experience pain, and have no previous history of cancer, they should visit a doctor to have a full assessment. However, if they have cancer and experience pain that runs across the back, radiates around to the chest and leads to paralysis, they should have it investigated urgently.

To assess spine cancer, at Wimbledon Clinics we conduct an MRI or CT scan to establish whether it is cancer in the spine or a fracture of the bone. In addition, we will see if there is a neurological deficit, if the patient is experiencing instability, or if they have any form of curvature of the spine.

Depending on the severity of the condition, there are different types of treatment available.

These include:

Palliative care

This is for severe cases and involves making the patient comfortable and preparing them for radiotherapy and chemotherapy. 

Curative surgery

In specialist cases and for contained cancer, we can remove or unblock the vertebrae which helps to prolong life expectancy. 

Kyphoplasty surgery

This involves filling the fractured vertebra, through keyhole techniques, with a fast setting cement to support the spine and prevent the patient from having instability and deformity. This is a low risk, minimal impact procedure that can help prevent the patient suffering from pain and deformity.   

Decompressing surgery

For patients that are suffering from numbness in the legs and instability, they can have their spine decompressed, part of the tumour removed, and the spine stabilised with screws and rods. Sometimes this is minimally invasive surgery, and will provide immediate pain relief and make it easier for radiotherapy to be performed. 

 

What makes Wimbledon Clinics different

At Wimbledon Clinics we have a dedicated, specialist team called the Spine Group.

Our team of spine surgeons are at the forefront of spine innovation and research. They are experts in the latest techniques to manage and cure spine cancers. They understand the anxiety of living with spine cancer and will offer you the very best advice and treatments to help you get through what is a difficult time.

The group has a well established service and pathway for expert parallel opinions from oncologists, radiotherapy specialists with access to state of the art spinal radiotherapy services including Cyberknife, as well as the surgical experience to know when to operate for spinal cancer and how to make the best decisions for patients.

Additionally the number of surgeons in the group means that urgent surgery can be provided when the condition presents in crisis.

What makes Wimbledon Clinics different is its multi-disciplinary team, which offers a seamless experience and pathway for patients. It consists of clinical surgeons that specialise in spinal fractures, deformity, cancer, myeloma and revisions, as well as non-operative specialists, physiotherapists, pain specialists, psychologists and orthotists.

We focus on what the patient wants to achieve, aiming to avoid surgery where possible by exploring non-operative treatments, enabling patients to get back to what they enjoy doing the most.

And to find out how you can benefit from our spine cancer treatment, get in touch by calling 020 8629 1889, email info@wimbledonclinics.co.uk or fill in the form on this page.

Meet the Spine Group

At Wimbledon Clinics we have a dedicated, expert Spine Group consisting of a team of clinical surgeons that specialise in specific areas, as well as non-operative specialists, physiotherapists, pain specialists, psychologists and orthotists.

We focus on what the patient wants to achieve, aiming to avoid surgery where possible by exploring non-operative treatments first, enabling patients to get back to what they enjoy doing the most.

We are constantly developing our treatment methods, using the latest spinal surgical techniques and technology to ensure you are given the best medical care available, in the safest and most efficient way. 

Our Spine Group includes:

JASON BERNARD

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Consultant Orthopaedic Spinal Surgeon

Treats a wide range of spinal diseases and back injuries – from simple disc problems to complex cancer and scoliosis surgeries. Has extensive expertise in the revolutionary scoliosis treatment, Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT).

Specialist in: fractures, paediatric spine deformity and scoliosis, and myeloma.

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Tim Bishop

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Consultant Orthopaedic Spinal Surgeon

Practice includes all aspects of spinal surgery, including surgery for cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral pathology. Also highly skilled in performing complex spinal trauma and tumour stabilisation.

Specialist in: adult and paediatric spine deformity and scoliosis, metastatic spine cancer and revision spine surgery.

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Matthew Crocker

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Consultant Neurosurgeon

Treats complex spinal issues, and has expertise in using metal work to stabilise the spine as well as injuries, fractures and vascular neurosurgery. In addition, he has a wealth of experience treating cancer that has spread to the spine.

Specialist in: metastatic spine cancer, minimally invasive spine surgery and intradural spine surgery.

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Darren F. Lui

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Consultant Orthopaedic Spinal Surgeon

Specialises in complex spinal surgery including failed back syndrome, scoliosis and kyphosis surgery. Treats spinal tumours, metastases of the spine and offers balloon kyphoplasty. Experienced in minimally invasive surgery.

Specialist in: complex adult spine deformity and scoliosis, minimally invasive anterior spinal surgery, revision surgery and myeloma.

Book an appointment