Chiari Malformation Community
CM w/ a Concussion
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CM w/ a Concussion

A few years ago I was diagnosed with having a Chiari Malformation. It is not significant enough to require surgery (if I recall correctly the Chiari it is at 7).

January 2006 I had an automobile accident (not my first). I suffered from a concussion (not the first either)

I had a brain mapping back in 1993. I was sent for cognitive rehabilitation.
I had another Brain Mapping for a month ago by the same doctor and results show a significant impact of my more recent concussion vs. the previous one. I was told that none of the therapies that were used before, nor any other therapies, would improve my condition at this point.

I get headaches, blurred vision, short term memory, some slight impairment of speech (I don't think anyone picks up on it even though I do), occasional dizziness and difficulty with balance, poor concentration, easily frustrated with tasks that should otherwise be much easier than they are now, and I have difficulty multi-tasking or staying focused on one thought. I often have to tell my child not to talk or make when I am doing something because the distraction makes it hard for me to get back on track mentally. He is only five and this makes feel like a horrible mother.


The only remedy for the nerve damage is surgery for the four herniations in my back. I know this will not reverse what is already done but can prevent further nerve damage. I am not ready to go this route and have had epidurals to help with the pain...though it does not reduce the other symptoms it has helped with the lumbar pain and my inability to even go up and down steps (was so bad I had to crawl).  

I am allergic to all anti-inflamatories (ibuprophen, tramadol, toradol, ultracet, ultram, etc....and steroids-which sticks because I also have asthma. I do go to a chiropractor but I realize there is only so much he can do considering the extend of my injuries.


Q:
I need to know if the Chiari Malformation could have been caused by a head injury from a previous accident and concussion.

Q:
I need to know if a concussion could worsen an already existing Chiari Malformation.

Q:
Is there a test to define the difference between the two conditions and/or the impact one would have on the other. If so, what would this test be?

Q: Is there anything that should be checked further with the Chiari even though there is nothing more that can be done for this concussion syndrome.


Thanks so much


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10 Comments Post a Comment
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515836_tn?1212107584
I have the same type of symptoms.  My concentration is horrible.  My headaches are not like headaches that are normal.  I get aching legs like there going to give out on me.  I was just diagnosed with Chiari 1 Malformation this month.  I'm still waiting on more testing to come back.  My neurologist said she does not think my symptoms that I am having has anything to do with the Chiari. I don't believe that.  I read to much about it. Every symptom that I am having is just like the symptoms that the Chiari information gives.  I'm not sure what is going to happen.  hopefully you find more answers also.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Chiari and Concussions have similar symptoms...that is why I posted my questions. I have a Chiari ...and have had four concussiosn in my life.

I was hoping a physician here might be able to tell me. I thought this would be a simply question for any physicians that happen to come here and hoped I could find out this way.  

Q:  Can a head trauma cause a Chiari Malformation . . .

AND. . .

Q: Could a concussion worsen an already existing Chiari.

I realize I can find out through a neuro surgeon but I would have to have referrals and all sort of tests before I were even able to get to a neurosurgeon. I don't have that kind of time and without concrete reason my insurance won't pay for a specialist or any other test than I alreay have had (MRI's, CatScan)

Thanks so much!
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515836_tn?1212107584
Hi,
I went to a diffrent neurologist today for a second opinion.  He told me that my headaches are definitly Migraines.  He does not think that my other symptoms are because of my Chiari.  He is sending me to get physical theropy and psych eval testing.  I am not sure what this is going to show.  All my MRI's were fine except for it showed I have Chiari.  Because its not decompressed on my spine then my symptoms are not my Chiari.  So, I guess I am all out of knowing what to do.  I am going on new meds and hope that physical theropy and evaluation helps.  I told the doctor that I felt crazy.  He said, that I was not crazy and that I will get better.  I asked about the surgery, He said that he would not recommend that surgery for anyone.  Any patient that he has known and seen which is not alot has not had a good recovery.  I am all out of questions anymore.  Here in Michigan there is not alot of doctors that knows much about Chiari.  
I hope you find the answers you are looking for.
Thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,
I also have chiari malformation with sryngomylia. I am having the decompression surgery next tuesday.. Did your doctor say why he doesnt reccomend the surgery? I have syptoms (symptoms) which are all getting worse and I was told that the surgery has a good chance that it will stop me from getting worse.
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Avatar_f_tn
There is no scientific data proving Chiari can or can't be caused by head trauma. Most dr's will tell you it's congenital. A concussion could worsen your symptoms - although I'm not sure if it could worsen the herniation size.. But that can happen anytime. It could be coincidental that all this is happening following a concussion. Your best bet is to see a Chiari specialist. I've seen- well read- alot of people suffer from "migraines" and then BAM! one day they've lost all feeling and function on one side of their body. Chiari is not a condition very many Dr's are "up" on, and most have a "wait and see" approach. There is a dr on Colorado- Dr. Oro- who you can send your MRI to and he will review it for free and tell you his opinion. He, along with TCI in N.Y., are considered the countries experts on Chiari.. I suggest doing that if you feel your current medical care isn't up to par.. HTH
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Avatar_n_tn
IS IT OKAY TO SEE A CHIROPRACTER AND GET NECK AJUSTMENTS IF YOU HAVE CHIARI?
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Avatar_f_tn
do not , I repeat do not go to a Chiropractor if you have Chiari .
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Avatar_m_tn
Today I found out that I have Chiari Malformation. I've had a terrible migraine for 12 days so far, and yesterday I went to get an MRI. I'm wondering if the three concussions I've had in the past two years (most recently this past March) have any affect on this malformation. I'm 22 years old, and am in generally good health.
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620923_tn?1405964489

  Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

Any bump , jostle or fall can trigger chiari symptoms to flare....so a concussion would deff play a role, 3..with out a doubt.

Do request copies of ur MRI's and the reports, and research NS's to locate a true chiari specialist.

   "selma"
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1667208_tn?1333111449
I understand they say we are born with it but I had a lifetime of head injuries (guessing it is the clutz in me) but anyway, my last concussion made my problems get so much worse!! Without a doubt it was my last concussion that caused my Chiari to NEED help!  Then it was just five years of trying to figure out my problem.  My headaches were terrible but worse than the migraines were the chiari cough headaches!  Getting a dr. to listen was very hard because they are trained that you don't have brain surgery for headaches, I can tell you from experience that it helped!  The chiari cough headaches are almost completely gone and what I thought was migraine for 25 years has changed so now I have my doubts??? I have some continued issues because things have gone a bit wrong in my case and I have had three surgeries to date BUT that being said, I am still happy I had the surgery and it did help my terrible headaches!  It was just very hard to get past the NL that kept saying, you don't have surgery for headaches and was dismissing my Chiari as NOTHING!  It was a long frustrating process.  I wish I had known younger that I could have had a life with less headaches!
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