Surgical palliation of spinal oncologic disease: a review and analysis of current approaches.
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The clinical problem of primary and secondary vertebral tumours is encountered with increasing frequency throughout North America as oncologic management protocols evolve and the population continues to age. These lesions can present problems of pain, instability and paralysis. Optimal surgical palliation is often of benefit when more conservative methods have been unsuccessful. Vertebral tumours can be approached either anteriorly or posteriorly. These alternatives have led to the evolution in the clinical community of two "camps" championing their respective approaches. The authors have reviewed the accumulated literature up to December 1988 and have found that anterior approaches offer improved clinical outcome without substantially increased morbidity.
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