The Spinal Cord Tumour Forum

Benign Spinal Cord Tumour Support & Information

Spinal cord tumours can occur in men as well. I had a C1-C5 ependymoma removed in 1995. 

Since around 1991 I had been experiencing bad neck pain which increasingly failed to respond to analgesics. Unfortunately, this was misdiagnosed as a "trapped nerve". But after a few years of non-responsiveness to traction, electro-therapy, massages and even stronger analgesics, I had growing difficulty using my fingers and my hands were starting to look odd due to muscle wasting. In 1995 I switched from seeing an orthopaedic to a neuro- surgeon, who after a thorough physical examination sent me for a MRI scan. This was when I was told I had a tumour inside my spinal cord. 

In January 2005 I sneezed and I remember a shooting pain run down my shoulder and arm. A few months later I was aware that I had a bad back and what I thought was a crick in the neck plus numbness along my arm and fingers. At that time I was exercising at the gym regularly and thought that perhaps the exercise was making me ache or perhaps the bed wasn't good. I also felt totally exhausted all the time and wasn't sleeping well as my arm felt like it had surges of energy through it.

I was a very healthy 38 year old male who was diagnosed with a spinal cord tumour in September 2007. I had always been very active person, I enjoyed going to the gym, running and cycling and being a member of the Territorial Army, I took pride in my fitness. During 2006, I noticed that my feet felt very cold (even in the summer) and I was getting the occasional bout of back pain. I put this down to my job with all the lifting.

My only symptoms in august 1996 were the third finger of my left hand itching constantly. After tests for carpel tunnel proved negative I was referred to an orthopaedic surgeon this took until March 1997. By this time the last three fingers and wrist on my left hand were tingling, burning and aching.