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How long does it take to recover from spinal cord surgery?

I might have surgery to remove a cord tumor, so how long a period would it take? Would it be months?
The answer to this question depends on where the tumor is in regards to your spine (i.e. cervical, thoracic or lumbar region). It also depends on where the tumor is in regards to the substance of the spine, i.e. is it within the parenchyma of the spine, is it within the covering of the spine but outside the parenchyma, or is it oustide the covering of the spine. Have you had any neurological deficits from this spinal cord tumor to date? These are important things to consider and discuss with your spine surgeon as he or she will be able to evaluate your medical history, presentinghs symptoms, and clinical exam and be able to give you a better answer as to the long term outcomes that he or she projects after the surgery. Of course, anytime surgery on the spinal cord is performed, there are serious risks associated with injury to the spine or surrounding neural elements, and it is important to discuss these risks with your spine surgeon at length prior to surgery. The recovery period could be as short as a few weeks to as long as a months to years depending on the location of the tumor and the neurological deficits that you currently have. again, discuss these and any other concerns with your spine surgeon.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under ZocDoc’s Terms of Service.
Who answers these questions?
Answers are written by doctors from top institutions:
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Boston Children's Hospital
  • NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Mass General Hospital
  • Beth Israel Medical Center
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