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November 1963

Metastatic Epidural Tumor of the SpineA Study of 45 Cases

Author Affiliations

Surgical Service, Veterans Administration Hospital, Long Beach, Calif, and the departments of anatomy and surgery, University of California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Surg. 1963;87(5):825-830. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310170111018

The attitude of physicians toward metastatic epidural tumor of the spine has changed somewhat during the past two decades from one of pessimism and therapeutic nihilism8,16 to one which is more therapeutically aggressive.* Our experience, however, reveals that many physicians are still unaware of the benefits to be derived from the surgical therapy of this disease and the need for prompt action in such cases with neurological involvement. In an attempt to evaluate this subject further and obtain additional information useful in the selection and treatment of these patients, 45 cases of metastatic epidural tumor of the spine with neurological involvement were reviewed. These cases were analyzed with respect to the duration of symptoms, degree of paresis, tumor level, tumor type, postoperative irradiation, and their relation to the postoperative return of function. All of the patients in this series were seen at the Long Beach Veterans Administration Hospital during

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