Karim Masrouha, MD, discusses the challenges of surgically removing chordoma tumors.
Karim Masrouha, MD, assistant professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, orthopedic surgeon, director, New York Ponseti Clubfoot Center, NYU Langone Health, discusses the challenges of surgically removing chordoma tumors.
Chordoma tumors are typically slow growing and indolent, so they are often very large at presentation when patients become symptomatic, Masrouha says. Therefore, the tumors are difficult to surgically remove with wide enough margins and without sacrificing some sacral nerve roots, Masrouha explains.
Although surgery for chordoma doesn’t affect ambulation, sensation, or motor function, it can negatively affect bladder, bowel, and sexual function, Masrouha says. Moreover, tumors that are high in the sacrum require most of the sacrum to be resected, which leads to fairly morbid functional outcomes, Masrouha concludes.