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15 yr old boy asymptomatic cleared from Neurologist/ Can he still play ...
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15 yr old boy asymptomatic cleared from Neurologist/ Can he still play football and if so, what is the worst that could happen?

Anyone with a son/daughter that has gone on to play contact sports after dx of CM and w/o having surgery. Neurologist said surgery would not be necessary and that he is in perfect neurological order. 13 mm.  
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570413_tn?1299536261
I'd say it depends on how much of a risk you are willing to take of him becoming symptomatic?

And so....

Is the sport worth that risk?

Contact sports, roller coasters, and horse back riding are usually frowned upon by Chiari patients because of the stress they can put on the cervical junction.  Many times patients symptoms don't appear until after a fall, car wreck, or accident.

If it were me, I'd think long and hard about this, first.  And do a ton of praying!

Rebecca
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My son has been a catch for 8 years.  Hit several times by the ball during baseball alone.  When in the doctors office, he was always cleared.  Never complaining of symptoms as in other Chiari patients. Played football and again, never complaining of symptoms.  How come the symtoms (symptoms) did not present?  These are the questions left for our doctor at this time, but I am only looking for parents of children w/ Chiari that have seen a postive outcome after dx, no symtoms (symptoms) and continued their lives as normal.

Thank you for your response, and if I may ask..do you or a family member have this? If so, what degree of herniation? What type of symptoms?  

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* has been a CATCHER.. ( not catch )
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570413_tn?1299536261
To date, my two oldest daughters have been diagnosed with Chiari malformation.  However, we strongly suspect that my husband also has this, as he has the exact same symptoms.

My daughter both had small herniations (less than 5mm), but herniation is not what determines how severe your symptoms are.  Our neurosurgeon, Dr. Rosner, has said that most of his patients with large herniations usually have less severe symptoms then those with small herniations.  He feels this could be that the herniated tonsils have actually given the patient a measure of relief.

My husband played football before his symptoms began.  I have had to watch my children suffer in pain from this condition, and it is so very hard.

I do know of another boy about 12 or so that has 10mm herniation, and can still play ball.  So, it does depend on the patient.

I pray that your son never has to experience any Chiari symptoms ever, and is able to live a normal, functional life.

Rebecca
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Avatar_f_tn
What was the reason that he was first diagnosed with Chiari. Was he having some kind of problem?
My daughter played softball for 2 years but did not play this year because the running and the heat started to bother her.
Chadry
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He went to the ER w/ dehydration during football hell week. When he was at the ER, he was so severely dehydrated that they ran every test.
xray L-spine, abd us, kidney us and last head ct to r/o head trama.  
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620923_tn?1405964489
Hi...Like Rebecca said the size or lenght of herniation of chiari will not alone make someone symptomatic, but it is the width....u could have short wide tonsils and they will block the CSF and this will create symptoms ...when a 10 mm herniation that is long and thin allows the CSF to flow, thus not causing symptoms.

It is possible to go asymptomatic for yrs, or to live with symptoms and not even consider that they r symptoms....ie- pain from straining when moving bowels....if u always had this would u consider it normal...of course u would......

And by playing sports it just increases the odds for a chiarian to become symptomatic.

Make sure a chiari specialist releases ur child to play contact sports.

"selma"
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for the input, but again I still have questions that do not make sense.

If this herniation is long and thin, how would contact sports bring on symptoms? Would the contact increase the width?  If my child ever suffered from headaches from straining from a simple bowl movement, I am almost 100 % positive that would be something a parent would know about.  And personaly, having a headache during a bowel movement does not sound normal.  Having a headache during coughing and sneezing does not sound normal...so these symptoms would not be something "accepted".  That is my opinion.  

So I guess this is the problem I have.  

My son does not have the typical chiarian symptoms, either accepted unknown symptoms or not, so now that we have found this malformation....we are stand by, stop our lives and wait for the symptoms to appear? To me this does not make any sense. Asymptomactic Chiarians halt their lives for the "what if's?"

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620923_tn?1405964489
I can not explain it completly and I am sorry.....not being a dr, I am not sure of how to explain this to u.

But, having chiari some patients can go their entire life..."symptom free".....but I feel many have symptoms they feel r something else and do not report most of them.

I for one never mentioned the pain I had in my head with  straining....I had no idea it wasn't normal....and it wasn't a topic of disscussion...so...what did I know. But I can remember holding my head while straining and I did not go often.....I have been DX with IBS...and I wonder if I did that to myself bcuz of the pain.....

As for having long thin tonsils .......I am not sure, but I believe it is that the trauma to the head can cause an increase of CSf to flow.....and it is possible for the herniation to widen with the excess fluid.....that would make a blockage and then an onset of symptoms.

Like I said, I have had the symptoms for yrs, but like others my symptoms cycled.....so I felt that my severe HA's in High school were stress like the drs said......my shoulder pain was stress as well.....the drs gave me reasons not to look for what was wrong.

But, I can look back to grade school and see I did have symptoms......no one, even my parents saw it......and I would have written it off to stress as well...bcuz I did not have the info to help me understand what was going on. To even understand what I was feeling wasn't normal, but was the result of a condition....that I did not have to feel like that......and trust me, I was an active person....I worked and played hard......but that doesn't mean I didn't have chiari or it symptoms...I compensated for how I felt so I could keep on going.Laughing I would cough, then choke and then gag...and yes my head hurt...but not one dr could tell me y...post nasal drip....hmmmm

I am by no means saying halt ur life...I am saying speak to a chiari specialist and let him advise u what he feels is safe for ur son....if u feel comfortable with him playing sports....and ur dr agrees....then u do what u feel is best for u and ur son.

I only know that as time went on I had a harder time compensating and then found out y.....ur son knows b4 he has gotten to that point....he may not.

But we do have a member here, who like ur son had no idea he had chiari.....lived his life and one day was in an accident and his chiari was large and he was in the OR rather fast.
I can't explain how this happens or if it will happen to ur son.....I only know it can.
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Avatar_n_tn
Good Morning,
Our family saw the NS yesterday after our visit with the Ped and Neurologist, (all of which gave him a clean bill of health after his neuro exam).

NS stated the NSF is great and that it is possible that he has had this 13mm herniation for quite sometime now. Asked us several questions about headaches, straining, vision, dizziness, etc. Did not feel surgery would even be necessary due to his examination of the patient and films, reports, etc.

The NS released my son to a "normal life!"  Including sports......I am grateful and excited to begin our lives again without walking on eggshells waiting for the "symptoms" to arrive!  

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Correction*
CSF... not NSF>
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620923_tn?1405964489
Congratulations....and I pray ur son enjoys a safe season playing sports.

"selma"
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Our 11 year old son was diagmosed with Chairi Malformation with an 8mm herniation, tethered cord and syrinx.  He is scheduled to undergo surgery on Oct. 21 for a decompression and untethering of the cord.  We are a little nervous and after eading some of these blogs are terrified for his recovery.  It seems to me that surgery exaggrates the symptoms not cures then.  Our son has been an active young boy and still with hte diagnoses has not slowed down.  Can you tell me from your expereince and all the people you have blooged with...will his life return to "normal" ever?  He plays football, baseball, basketball, and golf. He is general is a huge sports nut!  We understand he will not be able to play football again, and this has crushed him.  I know our NS said he needs the surgery  because of the syrinx especially, but like I said after reading some of these blogs I feel completely hopeless and scared for him to return to a normal life of hanging out with his friends and doing all the things 11 year old boys like to do.  Sorry for the rambling!  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated ..what can we expect from this?
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620923_tn?1405964489
Hi and welcome to the forum.

May I ask, what symptoms did ur son exhibit?

I had my surgery this past May...I am recovering nicely, but slowly as I have another condition that I am prone to heal slow.

From everything I read in my research is that children do rebound so much better than someone my age...and I do feel sooooooo much better that I did prior to my surgery.

I also have TC, but I only had the decompression and teh release is on the back burner for now.

As, ur DS's NS has informed u that it is possible for him to be a kid, but certain activities are out bcuz the risk of causing the need for further surgeries.I am sure teh NS has also said that surgery is not a cure, but is to stop progression...and if ur DS's syrinx is causing a problem, waiting may cause perm nerve damage.

The real question is, r u comfortable with the dr...if so, u need to listen to what they r suggesting. I did go to several, and knew when I had a wrong dr telling me I didn't have chiari.....so, once u have a dr u r comfortable with...u have to listen to what they feel is best....it is a scarey prospect...this is ur chiald and I totally understand even tho it was myself and not my child I too was scared.That is normal and expected.

Are they doing both surgeries at once?....by doing this, I am sure they hope the syrinx will shrink and not inping his spinal cord.

As for him being a normal kid...well if he's as active as u say, I can 't imagine him not continuing being an active kid....most of the threads here r from those that have had issues...so many have the surgery and we never hear from them again.

I do hope u continue to post questions and concerns and share ur DS's experience with us...we would love to know how he does with this double surgery.

Remember that all of us will have a different experience and  will respond differently .

"selma"

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Thank you so much for your response.  His symptoms were headaches, bladder control issues (from tethered cord), and pain and weakness in left foot.  We actually found this because the urologist we went to se in regards to baldder issues took and x-ray and found the tethered cord, he sent us to a neurologist, who did an MRI and found the Chairi 1.  He then sent us to one of the two ped-neurologists in Oregon.  We are comfortable with our Dr., however, the information we recieved was very little in regards to what to expect after surgery.  The unknown is terrifying.  Is there any advise you can give to what I will need to have prepared at home to make his recovery more smooth and as comfortable as possible.  All the bedrooms in our home are located upstairs in our house.  Would you recommend putting a bed on the main floor so to avoid stairs for the first few weeks?  

Thanks!!!
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620923_tn?1405964489
Hi...U r welcome.

Well, I slept in a recliner as lying flat was too much right off....u will also want some kind of neck pillow to use to keep his lower back away from the back of the seat turn upside down and have the hollow spot where the  incesion is. I also had a pillow for my head in the car....to help keep it from bouncing around.

He will deff not want to do stairs right away, and if u have a recliner, it may work better than a bed...and less work for u.

Make sure u get PJ's with button fronts so he doesn't have to lift it over his head.....very loose PJ pants....

I didn't like noise, so if putting him downstairs will put him in the middle of too much, it may bother him also.....so, if he has everything he needs upstairs and can have quiet when he needs it....it may be better.
Also, the PT  will tell u what ur DS is able to do upon going home....see how he is on going home b4 u move too many things around.

I was using a walker per the PT bcuz I use a cane and have for 9 yrs....and my balance was off...

I was alone here and had no issues with  noise....u may also want to restrict visitors until he is feeling better.

Not sure if I got it all, but, u will be able to gauge from him by day 2 what he can or can not handle.

"selma"

Wet wipes and facial cloths were great.....hard candies...and cups with straws....lifting the cup to drink isn't so bad it is bending the head back to get to the liquid at the bottom.

I had a few audio books to listen to while I sat with my eyes closed.....
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Hope you are still interested in this. My son 6'6 260 lb 14 year old with a bright future in football and basketball was dx w CM slight over a year ago. NO sysmptoms ever and was an incidental finding. The neuro that found it suggested that Austin not play any contact sports even tho he was a slight case and was NOT a candidate for surgury. My son flipped out.We got a 2nd opinion. As there is no evidence that he is at any more risk for becoming a quad or para or having symptoms should he coontinue to play what he sports he wants.  He played football last year 2011 as an 8th grader with no issues. As a freshman 2012 he has played HS football with no issues. Did have a slight concussion at the end of this year....This is where it gets interesting. His pediatrician will not clear him for any sports until cleared through a neurologist. Took him to the concussion clinic said he is fine no problems all cleared up and was a slight concussion. He is back to normal with no symptoms still from his CM.
Apparently there is not enough information out there about the risks/vs/acceptance of this finding. And quite honestly it is becoming more nad more common among people of all ages. WHY THE PANIC? My guess lawsuits. We as parents os children who have rights, need to represent our kids best interest. Telling these kids that they reccomend they not play contact sports is just that...A reccomendation not a sentance.
Especially those who are not candidates fro treatment, have no symptoms, and are not in any more danger than the average joe teenager.
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620923_tn?1405964489

  Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

There is not a lot of info on Chiari and it's effects out there, but I have seen far too much pain and issues as a result of this condition and there was no contact sport involved.

Ur DS is lucky he was able to play and has no issues, and it is possible that he never will, my big point I like to make and y I say no is, y did they have a MRI in the first place, something must have been wrong...and next b4 u consider them safe have all the testing by a chiari specialist so u r sure....

I am happy for u and ur son, he is doing what he wants and with no complications, but that is not true for everyone with this dx...so all I say is  once u r dx'd no sports and do the testing with the specialist and go from there.

Thanks again for sharing ur info, the poster u replied to has not been active for 3 yrs so I replied....most of our older threads have a sand timer near the date so u can see it is no longer active.

Feel free to share ur journey with other members in our current threads : )
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