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Is the herniation and syrinx large?
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Is the herniation and syrinx large?

Hi, I was recently struck by a truck and along with several shoulder ailments, I also discovered that my neck was sprained.  I was sent for an MRI and through that found that I have Chiari I Malformation and Syringomyelia.  I am a 27 year old female.  According to my MRI, the cerebellar tonsils are herniated 14mm.  The syrinx is 8mm in diameter and extends from low C6-T3.  To me, these both sound rather large, but I am far from an expert.

I am having neck spasms, occasional dizziness/blurred vision, shooting pain from my shoulder to my wrist, and trouble sleeping.  The spasms and shooting pain did not start until after the accident, and the dizzy spells are happening more frequently now.  I don't know if what I am experiencing is aftermath from the accident or from the Chiari or some combination of both.

My brother has Chiari and Syringomyelia too and he had to have surgery back in 11/07.

Any insight to my situation would be very helpful.  Thank you!
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620923_tn?1393294254
Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

Since Chiari tends to be a congenital condition we r told that many that have it and r unaware as the chiari symptoms sleep or asymptomatic. A trauma to the area such as a fall or MVA can trigger the symptoms......such as in ur case.

U r right in that ur herniation is on the large side...and ur syrinx sounds wide too!!

Have u had a CINE MRI to check ur CSF flow?....MRI of ur lumbar to check for tethered cord?

May I ask how ur DB is doing since his surgery?Do u expect to use the same surgeon?

"selma"
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Thank you for responding Selma.  As you said, I was completely unaware of the Chiari Malformation until I was sent for an MRI of my cervical spine and the results came back.  I had certain problems prior to the accident but they were so common and every day that I never really thought anything of it.  I used to get headaches nearly every day behind my eyes and used to get occasional "migraines" and I would get them badly enough that I would not go to work.  All I could do was take Advil and go back to sleep for 4-5 hours.  At that time, the headache was gone.

I have also had periodic bouts with sleeping problems, but always thought that it was from stress or something like that.  

Once in a very rare while, I would get a shortness of breath completely out of the blue...almost like heart palpitations.  I spoke to other people who had the same thing happen to them so again never got it looked in to.  In hindsight I realize that probably wasn't the smartest move.

All in all, my symptoms have not proven to be overly debilitating, however since the accident, I have been experiencing spasms and shooting pain down through my arm, many sleepless nights, chronic fatigue, laziness, occasional pins and needles in my hands and feet, some dizzy spells.

I honestly don't know if my symptoms are from the accident or from the Chiari and that is driving me crazy.  I have had a full brain MRI as well as MRIs of the entire spine.  I don't know what the CSF flow is, but I probably had that too.  There was no stenosis, hydrocehpalus or anything else wrong.  Mild to moderate neural crowding.

My brother is doing better, but definitely still has his days.  He needed to have a shunt inserted after the surgery bc he was leaking cerebral fluid.  He needed to have C1 and C2 removed at the time of the surgery as well.  

I will not be using the same surgeon since my brother lives in Nevada and I am in NY.  Hope you are feeling better after the surgery.
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620923_tn?1393294254
Hi...many of us have had chiari symptoms and either we ourselves dismissed them as other things or thought it was "normal" to have what ever it was....or a dr told us it was stress or related to something else.

Until u get to a chiari specialist it can be difficult to know what is what.....are u thinking of going to TCI since u r in NY?


Glad to hear ur brother is doing well.....

"selma"
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, now that I know I have Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia, it helps to explain some of the problems I have had in the past and I am grateful I found out prior to symptoms getting too serious.  What bothers me is that since I was involved in the accident, it is hard to determine if the pains in the neck and down my arm are from the Chiari or the accident.  I know I am supposed to be monitoring myself closely, but I still just don't know.

I honestly haven't even thought about who I would go see regarding this.  I was referred to a neurologist by my orthopedist once he saw the results of my MRI.  I think that it might make sense to see a chiari specialist too, since they are more well versed in this.  I will certainly look into it.  Have you heard anything about TCI?
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620923_tn?1393294254
It is possible to be an never ending circle...it is chiari bcuz of the accident.....


I went to TCI and had my surgery this past May...I was very pleased with my NS there and I liked him personally as well as professionally.He made both myself and my DH feel at ease with his abilities...and that helps alot when u r facing this type of surgery.

Do check out their website for more info. ANd please feel free to view my journal  on my experiences with my surgery on my profile page.

If u have ne specific questions just send me a PM

"selma"
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Avatar_f_tn
I was apparently born with the Chiari Malformation, just didn't discover it until the accident.  I am unsure if the syringomyelia was from the accident or from the Chiari however.

My father has to see a neurologist in Manhattan because he suffered a head injury on the job 9 years ago and has had some issues since.  Her mentioned the Chiari to her and her response was "Oh people come in here almost every day for that surgery.  You have nothing to worry about if she needs it."

I know she is a great doctor and that made me feel more at ease.  I will definitely read your journal.

Thank you for all of your help!

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620923_tn?1393294254
Yeah most of us have had it from birth....and it took to age 48 for them to dx my chiari.I also had a flare of symptoms following a MVA, but not MRI's were done back then '75....so way too long to get a dx....

So glad u found someone so quickly u r comfortable with.

U r welcome : )
"selma"
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