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Symptoms of Chiari Malformation

McLaughlin Scrubs SmallBy Mark R. McLaughlin, MD, FACS, FAANS

Chiari Malformation is a complex and serious neurological disorder. There are different types of Chiari Malformation which are discussed here on our website. Chiari Malformations have a wide range of different kinds of symptoms. Most patients will exhibit multiple symptoms, however some people with a Chiari Malformation will have no symptoms whatsoever. In other words, each case is different and the diagnosis of a Chiari Malformation requires an experienced neurosurgeon.

Chiari symptoms can also be complicated by related or concurrent conditions such as syringomyellia, intracranial hypertension, or other genetic disorders.

The Symptoms of Chiari Malformation may include:

  1. Severe Headaches (often caused by sneezing, coughing, bending over)
  2. Pain in the neck and shoulders
  3. Trouble swallowing (occasionally trouble speaking)
  4. Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  5. Loss of bladder or bowel control
  6. Loss of fine motor control
  7. Numbness in the hands and feet
  8. Weakness or stiffness in arms and legs
  9. Problems with balance

The symptoms of Chiari are caused by one or more of:

  • Compression of cranial nerves
  • Compression of the brainstem
  • Compression of the cerebellum
  • A disruption to the normal flow of Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
  • Increase in CSF pressure
  • Damage to Nerves

Chiari headaches are often described by patients as beginning in the back of the head, and then radiating forward. The pain is usually described as intense pressure.

Chiari Malformation was at one time considered to be a rare condition, but with the development and availability of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), we have learned that condition is more common than once thought.

If you suspect that you may suffer from Chiari Malformation, or if you exhibit the symptoms described here, we invite you to contact one of our campuses for evaluation and expert treatment.

Dr Mark McLaughlin Chiari Malformation

LastUpdate: 2018-03-31 17:27:53


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