Spinal Cord Compression – medical emergency, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment

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“Spinal cord compression more specifically metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC) is one of the ominous causes of back pain where there is a compression of the thecal sac and its components by tumour mass. Spinal cord compression develops in approximately 2.5% of patients with metastatic cancer and maybe the first presentation of someone with the cancer. Metastatic cancer of course originates from a primary tumour be it the lung or breast cancer. These cancer can metastasis into the spine.

Metastatic tumours in the osseous vertebral column account for 85% of cases of spinal cord compresssion. As tumour grows in the epidural space, it generally takes the path of least resistance and encircles and compresses the thecal sac. As the epidural venous plexus becomes obstructed, vasogenic edema may develop in the white matter and eventually the gray matter of the spinal cord, culminating in spinal cord infarction.”

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