Occur most often in the thoracic areaThe pathologic effects of a spinal cord tumor are more often related to compression of the cord rather than the tumor itself.oA large tumor may affect the blood supply to the cord causing ischemia or obstruct the normal flow of CSFA rapidly growing tumor quickly leads to spinal cord compression, edema, and the development of neurologic symptoms, such as numbness and paralysis.Primary tumors – cause is unknown. May be intramedullary or extramedullary.oIntramedullary – within the cord. Usually cancerous and grow rapidly and invasivelyoExtramedullary – 90% of the spinal cord tumors. Found within thespinal dura but outside the cord.Extradural (epidural) – between the vertebrae and spinal duraIntradural – wintin the duraMost do not exhibit signs of uncontrolled growth and organ invasion of cancerous tumorsMost common problem is non-mechanical back pain that results from spinal cord compression, infiltration of the spinal tracts, or irritation of the spinal roots.oRadicular (nerve root) pain is stabbing or dull, with intermittent episodes of sharp, piercing pain. Report any changes in motor and sensory status immediately to the HCP or RRT. Swelling or tumor invasion can damage the spinal nerves that help control the diaphragm, and RF can result.NEUROLOGIC ASSESSMENTThe spinal cord controls body movement (mobility); regulates organ function;processes sensory information from the extremities, trunk, and many internalorgans; and transmits information to and from the brain. The peripheral nervous system is composed of the spinal nerves, cranial nerves, and autonomic nerves.Each nerve has a posterior and an anterior branch. The posterior branch carries sensory information to the cord. The anterior branch transmits motor impulses (mobility) to the muscles of the body.
Any problems that affect the nerves, bones, muscles, and joints also affect motor and therefore ADL ability.History:During introduction, note the patient’s appearance and assess his or her speech, affect, and movement. Inquire about the ability to perform ADLsAsk about family historyPhysical History:Compare each assessment with the patient’s baseline, as well as between right and left sides and between upper and lower extremities.Complete Neuro Assessment:A complete neurologic assessment includes a history and evaluation ofmental status, cranial nerves, mobility and motor system function, deep tendon reflexes, sensation, and cerebellar function.*Be aware that a change in level of consciousness and orientation is an early and reliable indication that central neurologic function has declined!Remote Memory = Long-TermRecall Memory = RecentImmediate Memory = NewAssessment of Sensory Function:The assessment of sensory function is done for patients with problems affecting the spinal cord or spinal nerves.