Skip Navigation
Print This Page
Share this page: More

Spinal Cord Tumors in Children

What is a spinal cord tumor?

Spinal cord tumors are benign or malignant growths in or near the spinal cord. They are less common in children than brain tumors and occur primarily in children 10 to 16 years old.

Spinal cord tumors may arise from the spinal cord region (primary) or spread to the cord from other organs (metastatic). Metastatic spinal cord tumors, which are cancerous, are more common in children than primary spinal cord tumors.

Types of spinal cord tumors:

About 90% of primary spinal cord tumors begin in cells next to the spinal cord. These include:

  • Meningioma, a usually benign, slow growing tumor that starts in the meninges — the outer three layers of tissue between the skull and the brain that cover and protect the brain just under the skull.
  • Acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma), a benign, slow growing tumor of the nerve that connects the ear to the brain (the hearing nerve).
  • Neurofibroma, a benign tumor that arises from nerves, usually those close to the surface of the body such as nerves of the skin or tissue just beneath the skin.
  • Ependymoma, the most common primary intramedullary (within the spinal cord) tumor.

About 10% of primary spinal cord tumors begin in the cells within the spinal cord.

To make an appointment or request a consultation, contact the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Brain Tumor Center at 410-955-7337.


#1 in Neurology and Neurosurgery in the U.S. for Four Consecutive Years

US News and World Report Best HospitalsThe Johns Hopkins Hospital ranked #1 in the nation in 2013 and is the only hospital in history to be ranked #1 for 21 years in a row by U.S. News & World Report.


Scheduled for Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins?

Watch the patient experience video before you come

Learn More

Watch Connor's Story Seizures lead to a brain tumor diagnosis

Pediatric Brain Tumors Listen to Dr. George Jallo speak about treatment options

Article: Inside the Brainstem
Read about Dr. Jallo's innovative approach to brain tumor surgery.

More News and Media


Out-of-State and International Patients - Find Out More


© The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy and Disclaimer