Spinal tumors form in the spinal cord or spinal column. They are categorized by their location in the spine, whether they began in the spine (primary) or spread there from cancer cells in another part of your body (secondary), and whether the tumors are benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Tumors may develop in the cervical spine (neck), thoracic vertebrae, lumbar, and sacrum. They may be located inside the spinal cord (intramedullary), in the tissues covering the spine (intradural-extramedullary), or between these tissues and the bones of the spine (extradural). Over half of all spinal tumors are extradural; the rarest spinal tumors are intramedullary.
Pain can occur due to both benign and malignant spinal tumors, in addition to other symptoms such as numbness, muscle weakness, spasms, stiffness in the back or neck, incontinence, impaired motor function, scoliosis, and paralysis.