A tumour, i.e. a benign or malignant growth, can occur in the spine as in any other organ. It can grow directly on the spine or “settle” there when a tumour in another region of the body spreads (metastasises) via the bloodstream.
Sooner or later, a tumour that grows on the spine exerts pressure on the nerves of the spinal cord, or it weakens the bone substance of the vertebrae and hence the stability of the spine.
The pressure of the tumour on the nerves of the spinal cord can lead to pain and numbness. If paralysis occurs, a surgical procedure is necessary in which as much of the tumour as possible is removed, and the spine is stabilized by a suitable anchorage or by an implant.