Despite being among the most common tumors of the spinal canal—accounting for 25% of all tumors in this area—spinal meningioma is difficult to diagnose and its cause remains elusive.
One theory links female sex hormones to the incidence of meningioma, since the tumor is predominant in women, especially during the fifth to seventh decades of life. Radiation exposure appears to play a role as well, as does genetics, as patients who suffer from the genetic disease neurofibromatosis often have many meningiomas.
This type of tumor, which often is benign, develops from the cells of the meninges (the membranes that protect the spinal cord and brain). It usually is located in the spinal column between the neck and abdomen. Symptoms may differ depending on where it is situated, but recovery rates overall are good.
Symptoms of Spinal Meningioma
- Episodes of partial paralysis
- Numbness or tingling
- Stiffness and weakness in the arms and legs
- Memory problems
- Behavioral changes