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Spinal Metastasis Clinical Presentation

  • Author: Victor Tse, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
 
Updated: Mar 31, 2014
 

History

Spinal metastasis may be the initial presentation in 10% of patients with systemic cancer. About 2% of symptomatic patients have no identifiable systemic disease. Approximately 90% of patients with spinal metastasis present with bone and/or back pain, followed by radicular pain. Bone pain at night in a patient with systemic cancer is always an ominous symptom. In fact, it is the most ominous symptom in patients with metastatic disease to the spine. Not all spinal metastasis result in neurological deficit, only 50% of these patients have sensory and motor dysfunction, and 50% have bowel and bladder dysfunction. A small group of (5-10%) of patients with cancer present with cord compression as their initial symptom. Among those who present with cord compression, 50% are nonambulatory at diagnosis, and 15% are paraplegic. Cord compression is commonly seen as a preterminal event in cancer patients.

 
 
Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Victor Tse, MD, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University Medical Center; Neurosurgeon, Kaiser Neuroscience

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Jorge C Kattah, MD Head, Associate Program Director, Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria

Jorge C Kattah, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American Neurological Association, New York Academy of Sciences

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA Professor of Neurology, University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Neurology, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

References
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