The causes and treatments for spinal hemangiomas


Hemangiomas are noncancerous tumors that are comprised of abnormal blood vessels.

They’re actually pretty common, but only about five percent of hemangiomas are symptomatic, so many people do not know they even have them. When they develop in the spine, they can cause issues if they affect nerves or the spinal canal. Below, we take a look at the causes, symptoms and treatment options for spinal hemangiomas.


Causes and Symptoms of Spinal Hemangiomas


There is no known cause for spinal hemangiomas, but women and older individuals are at a greater risk for bone hemangiomas, as they are most common over the age of 50. Other types of hemangiomas are most common in infants, but these often resolve on their own before the child reaches puberty.


Symptoms of a spinal hemangioma include:


● Back pain
● Numbness
● Weakness
● Pain that radiates outward from your back


Diagnosis and Treatment of Spinal Hemangiomas


Spinal hemangiomas are usually caught when doctors are imaging for another condition, but if a patient is complaining about the above symptoms, the doctor may order an MRI or CT scan to look for the presence of an hemangioma. The doctor may also order an X-ray to look for a characteristic honeycomb-shaped mass within your bone. If the hemangioma is found while imaging for another condition and is not causing symptoms, the doctor will likely note its presence and ask about it during future visits to see if it has become symptomatic. If it is causing problems, treatment is needed as it can eventually lead to loss of range of motion and even paralysis.


There are a couple of different treatment options for bone hemangiomas of the spine:


Embolization - A minimally invasive surgical operation that cuts off the blood flow to the hemangioma.


Ethanol Injections - Ethanol injections will help blood clotting within the hemangioma to prevent bleeding.


Radiation Therapy - Radiation will reduce the size of the hemangioma.


Vertebrectomy/Laminectomy - If the hemangioma is affecting the vertebra, an operation to remove part of the vertebra may be performed.


About Dr. Stefano Sinicropi


Dr. Stefano Sinicropi is a Board Certified Expert in spinal surgery, who is trained in both Orthopedic and Neurosurgical techniques. He dedicates his practice to getting his patients back to a pain-free life. Read more about Dr. Sinicropi at his website.


The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Becker's Hospital Review/Becker's Healthcare. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Webinars

Featured Podcast

Featured Whitepapers