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What is a vertebral hemangioma?

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A vertebral hemangioma is a type of tumor that develops inside spinal bones, according to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Hemangiomas are benign tumors that rarely spread or worsen in severity and often affect only one vertebra. A hemangioma usually grows in vertebrae just above or below the waistline.

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Hemangiomas affect roughly 10 percent of the world population, but these tumors often show no symptoms, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center notes. Women are more likely to exhibit symptoms, such as back pain, spinal cord compression and radiating pain from irritated or inflamed nerves.

Symptoms typically appear when a hemangioma overtakes an entire spinal bone or causes the bone to compress or collapse, according to Cedars-Sina Medical Center. In severe cases, the tumor can limit a person's leg mobility and interrupt bladder or bowel function.

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