Chiari malformations are structural defects in the brain that can develop when a person is in the womb, as we develop, or after trauma. This structural abnormality can result in excess brain tissue pushing into the spinal column, resulting in a host of symptoms. Chiari malformations are best treated with decompression surgery. Give me a call today to talk about your surgical options.
Chiari Malformation – Definition & Causes
Chiari malformations sometimes present with no symptoms at all. In other patients, symptoms of a chiari malformation may include any of the following:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain in the neck, head, or back
- Vision problems such as light sensitivity or blurred vision
- Muscle numbness, tingling, or loss of control
- Dizziness and nausea
- Coordination issues
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to make an appointment with a spine specialist to get a diagnosis and discuss treatment options.
Chiari Malformation Surgery
Some chiari malformations do not cause any adverse symptoms and do not require any treatment. Other cases can cause severe pain and disrupt a patient’s quality of life. The procedure involves making an incision in the base of the back of the head and removing a small window of bone to allow decompression of the structures hitting the spinal column. This will reduce pressure and minimize symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with a chiari malformation or have been experiencing the above symptoms, give me a call today to discuss your options. As this disease is usually found in children, my training as a pediatric neurosurgeon has been helpful in providing treatment to both my adult and pediatric patients with this malformation. The procedure involves making a small incision at the back of the head and removing part of the skull and spinal column to reduce pressure and minimize symptoms.