For appointments or confidential discussion call
London Clinic 07776 511824
Norwich Clinic 01603 505063

The London Norwich Spine Clinic is based at
Hospital of St Johns & St Elizabeth, St Johns Wood, London
and the Spire Norwich Hospital, Norwich.

Information for GPs

Your spine is one of the most important and complex parts of your body - keeping it healthy is vital if you want to lead an active and pain free life.


An abnormal growth of cells inside or around the spinal cord that can either be benign or cancerous. Fortunately, spinal tumours are very rare.


The most common cancerous tumours are metastases, meaning they've spread to the spine from primary cancers in other organs such as the lung, prostate, breast or bowel.


  • Severe spinal pain, which does not respond to simple medication and increases over a few weeks. The pain may be worse when lying down.
  • Weakness, numbness and difficulty walking
  • Incontinence, if the tumour in is the lower part of the spinal cord
  • General cancer symptoms, including tiredness, weakness, poor appetite and weight loss


Treatment options

Non surgical

Radiotherapy or chemotherapy

This aims to reduce the tumour size


This may be recommended where there's nerve or spinal cord compression and limb weakness.

As much of the tumour as possible is removed to reduce pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. The affected area is then restored and strengthened using special screws and rods.

"Rather than do an open procedure Mr Rai was able to stabilise the spine using advanced keyhole surgery." Read case studies >

Case studies

Mr T, aged 54

Condition: Metastatic Tumour in spine

Treatment: Stabilisation of the spine using instrumentation

Mr Rai's notes

"The spine is a common place for cancers to spread. If the cancer destroys the vertebrae than this can cause pain, weakness and eventually paralysis. In selected cases an operation is required to stabilise the spine allowing the patient to mobilise in a pain free manner and than have chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy

The adjacent MRI is that of a 54 year old man with metastatic tumour in his lumber vertebrae. Rather than do an open procedure Mr Rai was able to stabilise the spine using advanced keyhole surgery. This is done using very small incisions under x-ray control, with minimal damage to normal tissues, less than 50mls blood loss and therefore the patient is mobilised and discharged after 1-2 days compared to weeks using the traditional approach.

The x-rays shows the post op picture of the titanium screws holding the spine up right."

Tumour pre-op
Tumour post-op
Tumour post-op