my daughter has been ill with nausea headaches tire and dizziness for months my dr ordered a mri of the head which showed chiari malformation with the cerebral tonsils 18 mm below the foramen magnum is this serious
It depends on some things patty. If the tonsils are blocking the cerebral spinal fluid in the spinal canal, then it could be. What she needs next is a CINE MRI which is also called a CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) flow study. That should show how much of a blockage, if any she has. If she does have a blockage, then surgery might be recommended. If she does not, it will depend upon her ability to cope with her symptoms. Chiari Malformation cannot be 'cured' with drugs. Only the symptoms can be managed with them. The only 'cure' for it is surgery, but that is normally always a last resort.
Overall, you need to make sure you are seeing someone who specializes in Chiari Malformations. That person will know best how to handle your daughters situation. As a mom, and someone with Chiair too, I can tell you, if for any reason you are in doubt of the opinion of the person you are seeing, or you don't feel like you are being taken seriously or you are just uncomfortable with them, go to someone else. You never, ever have to take the first opinion.
Good luck to you and your daughter. I hope that you guys can get some answers.
lydelia gave some good advice, the only thing I take exception to, is there is no cure for chiari...surgery is used as a means to restore flow of CSF and slow progression, it is not a cure, and may not relieve symptoms....we hope for it to, but it may not.
The size of the herniation length wise is not the main issue, what is, is the width and if it is causing an obstruction..overcrowding...and how it is impacting overall health.
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