Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia Information

Chiari Malformation and syringomyelia are related conditions. In the former, the cerebellar tonsils are not in their proper location. Instead, they hang down into the spinal column through the opening at the base of the skull. This dislocation causes symptoms such as headaches and problems with movement.



Chiari malformation- Image via Wikimedia

In many cases, people with Arnold Chiari Type 1 malformation also develop a fluid filled sac called a syrinx. The condition where someone has this syrinx is known as syringomyelia. Doctors can detect this fluid filled sac by using diagnostic imaging. The pressure that builds up in the syrinx can damage the spinal cord over time.

Some cases of Chiari Malformation are more severe than others in terms of the dislocation of the cerebellar tonsils and this is why some people can manage the condition with painkillers, while others have to do surgery. Doctors may also opt to release the fluid associated with the syringomyelia by using drainage tubes. If necessary, your physician may also recommend a decompression operation.

Source:
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chiari-malformation/Pages/Introduction.aspx

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