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Thread: Chiari Malformation

  1. #1

    Chiari Malformation


    I recently had an MRI for neck pain and tingling pain in my arms and even periodically my feet. The MRI revealed (from the MRI tech) that I have a 5mm Chiari though it does not appear that there is any blockage of fluid. I was sent to a Neurosurgeon, he looked at my MRI, and said that he disagreed with the report and said that I didn't have Chiari as I would have to have my tonsils lower to be considered such. He said that my cerebellar tonsils do lie a little low, but of no concern. I still get neck pain and nerve pain in my shoulders, arms, and still at times feet. When my neck is aggravated enough, I do also get headaches that originate in the back of the head. Could a tiny 5mm decent of the cerebellar tonsils cause such symptoms? The surgeon offered no explanation of the cause of symptoms. He just claimed that there was nothing on the MRI that shows any need to operate. Thanks!
    Last edited by chief1976; 09-05-2014 at 01:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Re: "The MRI revealed (from the MRI tech) that I have a 5mm Chiari"

    The MRI standard for making a diagnosis of a Chiari malformation is 5mm of cerebellar tonsil herniation. The official MRI measurements and diagnosis should be on your written MRI report and will have come from a board certified Radiologist, not a MRI tech. That said, it's up to the Neurosurgeon to determine if a Chiari malformation is the cause of your symptoms and if surgery to decompress the brainstem/spinal cord is needed. We can't tell you online. In previous posts, you've said you also have a syrinx. If you want a second Neurosurgical opinion, you have a right to ask your Primary Care Doctor for a referral.

  3. #3
    Consult your primary care again on the MRI
    consider getting a second opinion


  4. #4
    It was a radiologists report, I just couldn't think of their correct title. Sorry. The neurosurgeon also claimed that the syrinx is too small to cause anything and has probably been there since birth.

  5. #5
    Yes if the syrinx is small the neurosurgeon will want you to take a wait and see approach
    any further MRIs should be done if you have a change in function, sensation or increase in pain.


  6. #6

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