Spinal Cord Tumour Forum

The Spinal Cord Tumour Forum

Benign Spinal Cord Tumour Support & Information

Your Stories

Carole's Story

In 1989 I had an operation to remove a spinal cord tumour (ependymoma, C6-T1). I was told it had probably been lying dormant for years and had suddenly become active. I developed a severe pain in my neck and began to lose the use of my fingers. Simple things like writing and doing-up buttons became impossible and I had spasms in my fingers, which often became rigid.

After the operation the use of my fingers mainly improved but I was left with problems with walking and balance and some loss of feeling in my legs and feet. The operation was in my neck and afterwards it was put back together leaning slightly forward. This has badly affected my posture and in order to balance myself I stand with my back arched. Over the years this arch has become more pronounced and I suffer from frequent back pain.

In 2001 my walking suddenly became considerably worse and I had another MRI scan. At first it was thought the tumour might be growing again but eventually it was decided that my spine, which has become increasingly fragile since my operation, was the cause of the problem. My walking problems have also increased because I can't feel the ground properly and my legs are frequently stiff and painful. Although it's 24 years since my operation I still get pins and needles and other sensations in my legs and they often go rigid when I stand for too long.