Chiari malformation is a condition that develops in one out of every 1,000 persons, and it may be difficult to notice any signs or symptoms until it is late. This condition can cause compressions and block flowing of cerebrospinal fluid. Roswell Chiari Malformation treatments are the solution you should seek. The treatment has the potential to lower the risk of this life-threatening condition.
What should you know about Chiari malformation?
This condition happens when the brain tissue extends into your spinal canal due to a malformed or a smaller skull, thus pressing and forcing the brain downward. Even though Chiari malformation is uncommon, it can affect anyone. You may not develop any signs and symptoms, but your doctor can detect the condition during a test for other disorders. There are two types of Chiari malformation:
- Type 1
If you have Chiari malformation type 1, you may not notice any signs and symptoms until your late adulthood or childhood. You may develop a severe headache after sudden sneezing or coughing. You can also experience:
- Poor hand coordination
- Neck pain
- Problems with balance and speech
- Type 2
In this type of Chiari malformation, there is more tissue extension into your spinal canal than in type 1. You may develop:
- Swallowing problems
- Breathing pattern changes
- Arm weakness
Your doctor can note this condition during pregnancy ultrasound or in early infancy. Type 3 is the most severe and may cause neurological problems.
What is the diagnosis and treatment of Chiari malformation?
You will undergo a physical exam to test your movement, sensation, and balance. Your doctor may also check for any cognitive concerns. You can also have an MRI to show your bones and soft tissues and tell the extent of the extension to the spinal canal. Other signs may include CT scans and X-rays. Your treatment plan depends on your symptoms; if you have mild symptoms, you will need regular monitoring with MRI. For severe malformation, your doctor may recommend surgical procedures, including:
Posterior fossa decompression
This treatment is prevalent for treating Chiari malformation. Your doctor will relieve the pressure on your brain to give it more room; this procedure will involve the removal of a part of the back of your skull known as the posterior fossa.
Your doctor may open your dura, a membrane outside your brain, and then sew a patch, thus enlarging the area and relieving pressure on your brain.
Your doctor may also remove a portion of the bones covering your spinal column, thus restoring the flow of cerebrospinal fluid.
Chiari malformation often develops due to a genetic mutation and occurs while your infant is still in the womb; thus, you may be unable to prevent it. You may live with Chiari malformation and have mild to no symptoms. In other cases, you may develop severe disabilities; therefore, you must talk to your doctor and get the proper treatment plan.
Call APEX Spine and Neurosurgery if you want to learn more about Chiari malformation or book your appointment online.