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Zarina Ali ERAS Spine Surgery

At the Penn Spine Center, experience and an accurate diagnosis is the key to successfully treating spinal tumors. Our fully integrated spinal tumor program brings together world-renowned surgeons and specialists who follow data closely and carefully assess and review patient cases that result in a precise diagnosis.

The Penn Spine Center offers the latest, advanced diagnostic tests and tools to diagnose every type of spinal tumor. These diagnostic tests and tools include:

  • X-ray: A painless procedure where X-ray beams are used to create detailed imaging of bones and hard structures of the spinal column.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): A magnetic field and radio waves are used to create a detailed image of the bone and soft tissue of the spine.
  • CT scan (CAT scan): This special X-ray takes detailed images of the spine.
  • PET scan: An imaging test that uses a small amount of radioactive tracer to assess glucose metabolism or other body functions active in a tumor to help identify sites of cancer throughout the body.
  • Bone scan: An imaging procedure that identifies bone abnormalities such as fractures or tumors throughout the entire skeleton.
  • Biopsy: A procedure where a sample of tissue is taken and examined more closely. A biopsy is required to accurately diagnose your particular tumor.
  • Lumbar puncture: Also called a spinal tap, this is a procedure to collect and examine the fluid surrounding the spinal cord. The fluid is examined for color, blood count, protein, glucose and other substances.
  • Blood tests: Generally used to confirm a suspected diagnosis, especially with tumors that have markers that can be detected in the blood such as prostate cancer or myeloma. Blood tests are helpful after a review of medical history and physical examination are performed and a suspected diagnosis is made.
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