The information going to and from the spinal cord is conveyed by the nerve roots. They exit the spinal cord and after a short distance the sensory portion and motor portion of the nerves are combined. As the begin to exit the spinal canal, they pass through the bony opening between adjacent vertebra referred to as the neuroforamina. The nerves then take on an outer nerve sheath of fibrous tissue. Tumors that arise from this nerve roots are primarily derived from cells of the nerve or cells of the linings of the nerve. As they grow, they can damage not only themselves, but adjacent nerves as well as the spinal cord. The bone, itself, may be eroded or damaged, by slow growing nerve root tumors. Certain inherited diseases, such as neurofibromatosis, may have multiple nerve root tumors associated with it.
Causes of Nerve Root Tumor
The cause of these tumors is unknown. They arise from the nerves, the connective tissues within the nerves and from the linings of the nerves.
Signs and Symptoms of Nerve Root Tumor
Local pain and tenderness may occur as the tumor enlarges. The pain may radiate into the area which the nerve supplies. As the nerve becomes damaged, weakness or numbness will develop in the muscles and sensory area it serves. Enlargement of the tumor within the spinal canal may lead to spinal cord compression, with weakness and numbness of any area below the damaged portion of the spinal cord. Bowel and bladder function may also be affected.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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