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Metastatic Spinal Cord Compression

What we do

We see current King’s cancer patients with symptoms of metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC). This is an uncommon condition affecting people with certain cancers that have spread to the bones in the spine, or have started in the spine. Secondary cancer in the spine can be painful and if not treated, can lead to spinal cord compression and damage.

Preparing for your appointment

No specific preparation is needed before your appointment.

Location

First floor, Willowfield Building, King’s College Hospital, Bessemer Road, SE5 9BG

Contact Details

Conditions we treat

We accept referrals for current King’s cancer patients with any of the following symptoms:

  • severe intractable progressive pain – especially in thoracic region
  • new spinal nerve root pain (burning, shooting, causing numbness)
  • altered sensation and/or reduced power in limbs
  • bladder and/or bowel disturbance (i.e. new onset of incontinence).

Please refer children with any of the above symptoms to paediatric neurosurgery in the first instance. They will then make an internal referral, as needed.

We do not treat:

  • adults with nerve roots tumours compressing the spinal cord.
  • adults with spinal cord compression caused by primary tumours of the spinal cord and meninges – referrals should be made to neuro-oncology
  • adults with spinal cord compression due to non-malignant causes – referrals should be made to spinal surgery.

Booking a patient at King’s

Routine Referrals

For adult patients with symptoms of spinal metastasis or MSCC without new neurological symptoms:

  • GPs: Contact the MSCC Coordinator on 020 3299 5468 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) to discuss arranging an MRI scan. Then complete the MSCC referral form (below) and email it with MRI spine images to: [email protected]
  • Hospital referrers: complete an MRI within 7 days and contact the MSCC Coordinator within 24 hours of the scan on 020 3299 5468 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). Then complete the MSCC referral form (below) and email it with MRI spine images to: [email protected]

Emergency Referrals

For patients with symptoms of spinal metastasis or MSCC with neurological symptoms:

  • Out of hours – Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and 24 hours a day on weekends and bank holidays: Tertiary referrers should use the inter-hospital acute referrals system. GPs should phone 020 3299 4207 to speak to the on-call Neurosurgical STR. If you cannot contact the STR within one hour, make direct consultant-to-consultant referral to the on-call Neurosurgical Consultant via the switchboard on 020 3299 9000. Email [email protected] to alert the team of the referral

The MSCC leaflet for referrers gives more information on referral pathways.

Other Queries

Contact the MSCC Coordinator on 020 3299 5468 to:

  • clarify the clinical context of your completed referral form
  • have further discussion with the on-call Spine Neurosurgeon Consultant
  • discuss the MDM outcome and any follow-up action.

Out-of-hours, contact the Neurosurgeon SpR on call on 020 3299 4207.

Referral forms

TitleFile SizeLink
Metastatic Cord Compression (MSCC) referral form – Neuro56 KB

Key Clinical Staff

Name Role
Mr Aminul Ahmed Consultant Neurosurgeon
Mr David Bell Consultant Neurosurgeon
Mr Gordon Grahovac Consultant Neurosurgeon and Clinical Lead for MSCC
Mr Irfan Malik Consultant Neurosurgeon
Mr Nick Thomas Consultant Neurosurgeon