Surgical treatment of spinal metastatic disease: indication and update
Metastatic involvement of the spinal column is frequently seen in various types of cancer. When neoplastic proliferation occurs strictly within the borders of a vertebral body, pain is the major clinical problem. In non-contiguous spinal metastases, however, epidural tumour extension and spinal instability lead to neurological deficit. Both pain and neurological deficit severely interfere with life quality, but rarely with survival, which is mainly determined by the underlying cancer disease. Therefore, the treatment of spinal metastasis primarily aims at preserving neurological function, spinal stability and at reducing pain.