What Is The Chiari Malformation?

Answers:    The Chiari I Malformation is considered a congenital malformation, although there own been some reported cases of an acquired form. It is characterized by a small or misshapen posterior fossa (the compartment contained by the back of the skull), a reduction contained by cerebrospinal fluid pathways and a protrusion of the cerebellar tonsils through the bottom of the skull (foramen magnum) into the spinal canal. The tonsils would typically be round but often become elongated as they protrude down the spinal canal. Diagnosis can be difficult because not adjectives patients will have the classical sign of deeply herniated tonsils.

Symptoms usually occur during early adulthood, and the most prevalent symptoms are SEVERE HEAD and NECK dull pain..

Vision problems can also occur. Some patients experience blurred or double vision, difficulty surrounded by tracking objects or a hypersensitivity to bright lights. Physical examination may reveal nystagmus (involuntary eye movements). Other symptoms include tinnitus (buzzing or ringing in the ear), audible range loss or vocal cord paralysis. Patients may have difficulty swallowing, frequent gag and choking and, in some cases, sleep apnea may be present.

The Chiari I Malformations may also be associated with other disorders such as hydrocephalus (build up of fluid within the ventricles of the brain) or Syringomyelia. Syringomyelia is a disorder in which cerebrospinal fluid enters the spinal cord, forming a cavity specified as a syrinx. It is recommended that patients diagnosed with a Chiari Malformation have the entire spine imaged to rule out the presence of a syrinx, since it may be a consideration surrounded by treatment and prognosis.

Surgical procedures to enlarge the posterior fossa are considered a treatment option for patients beside the Chiari I Malformation.
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