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Neurology and Neurosurgery

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Chordoma Center

Chordomas are tumors that form from remnants of the notochord, embryonic tissue that eventually becomes the center of spinal disks. They can occur anywhere within the spine, but almost a third of them show up in the lower back (sacral area.)  

Chordomas: What You Need to Know

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Chordomas can appear relatively harmless in pathology reports. But even after staying inactive for a time, they can grow aggressively and spread. If a chordoma becomes very large, you may even be able to feel a lump in your spine.

Growing chordomas can press on the spine and nerves, causing pain and nerve problems, such as:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

When chordomas metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body, they can become life threatening. It’s essential to have them treated promptly while they are still manageable.


Patient Resources

Read more about chordomas in our Health Library.

Your Guide to Spine Surgery
Your Johns Hopkins neurosurgical spine surgery team is here to help you with all aspects of your procedure, from planning through recovery. This downloadable guide serves as a handy reference, outlining what you can expect and how your family and friends can support your healing process.


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Why Choose the Johns Hopkins Chordoma Center?

Our Physicians

The experts at Johns Hopkins’ Chordoma Center have vast experience with these rare tumors affecting the sacral spine, which has allowed us to develop a comprehensive approach to their treatment.


Chetan Bettegowda
Ali Bydon 
Gary Gallia 
Michael Lim
Daniel Sciubba
Tim Witham

Radiation Oncology
Lawrence Kleinberg
Kristin Redmond

Surgical Oncology
Susan Gearhart

Adult Medical Oncology
Christian Meyer
Katherine Thornton

Orthopaedic Oncology
Carol Morris

Pediatric Oncology
David Loeb

Plastic Surgery
Damon Cooney
Justin Sacks

Vascular Surgery
Christopher Abularrage
James Black
Ying Wei Lum

Our Treatments

Many of Johns Hopkins chordoma doctors are actively researching chordoma through outcomes-based clinical trials, which can provide participants with every possible advantage. Your treatment plan is informed by the most current and innovative thinking, and the most effective drug and surgical therapies, including stereotactic radiosurgery and other techniques.


Our Patient Care

As one of the busiest chordoma centers in the nation, our group ensures you get a team with years of cumulative experience and the very latest techniques.

Learn more about chordoma treatment at Johns Hopkins.


Our Research

Explore current clinical trials in chordoma treatment.

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Maryland Patients

Learn how to request an appointment with or refer a patient to the Neurosurgical Spine Center at Johns Hopkins. You may direct additional questions or follow up with one of our office coordinators at 410-955-4424.

Traveling for Care?

Whether you're crossing the country or the globe, we make it easy to access world-class care at Johns Hopkins.

Outside of Maryland (toll free)

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Medical Concierge Services

International Patients

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Medical Concierge Services

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