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Old 07-17-2012, 09:54 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Albany, NY, USA
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Re: Does this sound like Chiari symptoms?


I have Chiari and was decompressed in January 2012. My symptoms were similar to yours and went undiagnosed for many years.

It's very important that you try to get in to see a neurosurgeon (not neurologist) who specializes in Chiari Malformation. Neurologists tend to want to manage pain and are not very well versed in Chiari. The only real treatment for Chiari is surgery, and only a NS with experience treating Chiari can tell you if you're a candidate.

Some things to ask for are a full spine MRI to rule out syrinx and tethered cord. You can also request a CINE MRI to assess whether your CSF fluid is being blocked by your cerebeller tonsils. The blockage of CSF is one of the criteria for recommending surgery and was the reason I had surgery (no syrinx or tethered cord in my case). I did not have to have a duraplasty because the decompression of the bones and ligaments produced a dramatic change and my CSF flow began to correct itself immediately.

I still get occasional symptoms, particularly with changes in the barometric pressure. However, I would say that the surgery resulted in about a 90% improvement for me so it was completely worth it.

Hope this is helpful and let me know if you have more questions - good luck!

Last edited by ljt77; 07-17-2012 at 09:55 AM.