Malignant Spinal Cord Compression: Adapting Conventional Rehabilitation Approaches

Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2017 Feb;28(1):101-114. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2016.08.007.


Spinal tumors are classically grouped into 3 categories: extradural, intradural extramedullary, and intradural intramedullary. Spinal tumors may cause spinal cord compression and vascular compromise resulting in pain or neurologic compromise. They may also alter the architecture of the spinal column, resulting in spinal instability. Oncologic management of spinal tumors varies according to the stability of the spine, neurologic status, and presence of pain. Treatment options include surgical intervention, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormonal manipulation. When combined with this management, rehabilitation can serve to relieve symptoms, improve quality of life, enhance functional independence, and prevent further complications in patients.

Keywords: Malignant spinal cord compression; Neoplastic spinal cord injury; Rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Pain Management*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / rehabilitation*