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Crazy Chiari Ending?
Hello...

I've posted on here a few times and have so appreciated the responses.  Thought I'd give a crazy update today.

Almost a year ago, I was in a bad accident and had all sorts of weird visual issues which prompted an MRI.  I was diagnosed with a Chiari Malformation, 5mm, and sent to a neurosurgeon for an evaluation.  The neurosurgeon told me it wasn't bad enough to operate just yet, but that it was definitely causing some problems and would likely need surgical intervention at some point.  She asked that I get a followup MRI which was scheduled for yesterday evening.

And here's where things get weird...  I get a call this morning from the radiologist at the hospital where I had the MRI.  My NS isn't affiliated with the hospital (it's closer to my home, so she has me do the scans there) and I've never gotten treatment from the hospital, so of course, I thought it was alarming. The radiologist told me that oddly, he'd done my first set of scans last year and diagnosed the CM (it's a huge hospital, so that was serendipitous) and that he'd stayed late last night to go over my old and new scans because he'd noted something strange.  Of course, I thought I was going to need a lobotomy or something, but he said: I've never seen this before, but your scans from last night are perfect. No herniation, no swelling, no nothing.

To say the least I was floored and asked for an explanation.  He simply said, "Sometimes there are things we just can't explain, but I can tell you that whatever made your brain herniate was not genetic and won't be a problem again unless you take another substantial blow to the skull." Then he told me I should make some happy phone calls to worried friends and family.  And boy, did I ever.

I asked for a copy of my films on CD, looked them over, and sure enough, films from a year ago show a clear herniation and films from last night are completely clear.  When I asked if it was possible he mixed up my results with someone else's, he said, no way, it's the same brain--apparently he'd checked a few times when he saw what had happened.

Anyway, I am happy...confused...overwhelmed...  Did it just resolve itself because a head trauma brought it on--does that happen often?  Does this qualify as some sort of weird miracle?  

I'd love any input on this...because as happy as I am, I'm also very analytic and want to understand what's going on here!

--Missy



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620923 tn?1452919248

  Hi Missy....it is possible for the tonsils to retract if what u have is acquired Chiari...or low lying tonsils from a MVA...this has happened b4....

Chiari Malformation is too often DX'd when there is not a true Malformation of the skull...just a herniation......a blunt force trauma can cause the tonsils to herniate, which is not how a true Chiari herniation occurs....

Not sure if I am making sense....but, I have to ask are u feeling better too?

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Selma,

I have very blatant occipital neuralgia from the accident--it is always very painful.  And I've had some other issues stemming from Post Concussion Syndrome (textbook: dizziness, grouchiness, confusion, stuttering, memory problems).  The funny thing is, my neck and brain MRIs lasted two hours with no break, so I KNEW I was going to have a horrible occipital headache today and I do...but I'm so happy I don't have a Chiari that I don't even care!  :)

So, if I am understanding correctly, a true Chiari Malformation is when your skull and brain are mismatched genetically which forces the tonsils to herniate while a tonsillar herniation can just be from a trauma or swelling?


Is that right?
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620923 tn?1452919248

  Yes, there is congenital and acquired Chiari for lack of a diff term....as it is not a true Chiari if the skull is not malformed but the symptoms are the same....and some do not resolve on their own and do require the same surgery....

U r lucky it resolved...I would wonder what injury u sustained that u have continued issues....in that there may be something else underlying...loss of cervical lordosis (whip lash)....cerviocranial instability...from Ehlers-Danlos...if u have that...but something to look at as well as disk issues that could be compressing a nerve.

I am so happy for u that surgery was not necessary....do get future MRI's especially if u have ne new symptoms.
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An amusement park ride broke and I flew out and was slammed, unrestrained, into a wall at about 35 mph. I was actually told by many doctors I'm very lucky to not be in worse shape. (I definitely pissed off my occipital nerves, fractured a rib, blew a couple of neck disks, got a bad concussion, and got a good bit of road rash...).  

I've been tested for ED syndrome bc of the Chiari finding and was told that was not an issue.  Because of my height, they thought I might have Marfan, but my aorta is perfect and no caved chest or hyperflexibility.  I also have two blown cervical disks from the accident (c 4/5 and 5/6, I believe, but they were mild, not surgical).  

I am happy about no surgery, too!
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620923 tn?1452919248

  Goodness what ride was it...sounds very scary.....

U should keep a close look on those disks as they can shift and cause a CSF obstruction very similar to the cerebral tonsils when they r herniated....so symptoms would also be similar...

Mayb u will have some relief of more of ur symptoms in time....even post op, it took closer to 2.5 yrs b4 I saw the most benefits from surgery...
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I am starting cognitive therapy for my memory problems next week and now that the Chiari isn't an issue, I can do REAL physical therapy for my occipital nerves and neck disks--before they wouldn't do anything serious because of the herniation.

The ride was at a resort and no one's ever heard of it--it's basically a luge.
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620923 tn?1452919248

  I use to like going to amusement parks, but I started to be affected by the rides, so I stopped going....that was yrs ago...I do miss Roller Coasters, but when u hear of these accidents that happen it does not seem like something I would want to temp faith over....

I hope the PT helps u....please keep us posted on how u r doing.
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Thank you, Selma.  I appreciate it.  

And from now on, I've sworn off all head-jolting rides :)
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620923 tn?1452919248

  I do not blame u one bit....it is sad to leave those things behind, but the older we get the harder and longer it takes or seems to take to heal from fun,...lol...and sometimes it is no longer fun.....

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Selma,

My husband keeps asking me to show him how the herniation isn't there anymore and I'm looking through my MRIs lost.  Can you tell where I'm supposed to be looking exactly if I send you a screen shot via email?
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620923 tn?1452919248

  U can post it to ur profile and I can explain under it....as long as it is a slice I am familiar with...lol...
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Okay...I'll try a clear side shot?
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Posted!  I have about 800 more if that one isn't good.  :)
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620923 tn?1452919248

I posted on the pic, do u have the ones that u were DX'd with Chiari to compare?
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