Secondary care referal service:

The Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital has a Metastatic Spinal Cord Compression Website. 


Please note this service is for secondary care only and is not intended for use by patients or primary care.


Click here to find out how to make a referral to our service and what information is required in making the referral.

Metastatic Spinal Cord Compression (MSCC).


MSCC is rare but it can cause damage to the spinal cord and can lead to permanent paralysis.


People with cancer are at risk of it spreading to other parts of their body, including the spine (this is known as spinal metastases).

Spinal Metastases can be painful and if not treated can lead to Metastatic Spinal Cord Compression (MSCC).


Symptoms to watch out for
  • Numbness, weakness or difficulty using the arms or legs

  • Bladder or bowel control problems

  • Pain or tenderness in the middle or top of the back or neck

  • Severe pain in the lower back that is getting worse or doesn’t go away

  • Pain in the back that is worse on coughing, sneezing or on going to the toilet

  • Back pain that prevents sleep

  • A narrow band of pain down the arm or leg or around the body.


If you have any of these symptoms
  • Speak to your doctor / nurse or paramedic as soon as it is practical (certainly within 24 hours)

  • Tell them that you have cancer and are worried about your spine

  • Try to bend your back as little as possible. –(local patient information template)