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574423 tn?1258662171
chiari 1 malformation
i'm a married 30 year old mother of 3 and i have recently been diagnosed with chiari 1 malformation.  my tonsils extend 10mm into my foramen magnum.  i've had migraines (common, classic, complicated) for the last 10 years.  i get very dizzy and lightheaded, my balance is not what it should be, extreme fatigue, dysphagia, and probably a few more i can't remember (did i mention bad memory).   from what i've read and researched, 3-5 mm is bad, how bad can 10mm be?  i've also been seeing a cardiologist, and is there a link between my heart issues (murmur in aortic valve, palpitations so far) and the cm?  surgery was only mentioned for the cm if compression happens.  any info or help and support would be greatly appreciated.  thanks so much.
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Avatar universal
Hello ngraham819,
In the normal individuals,the mean position of the tonsils is 1 mm above the foramen magnum with a range from 8 mm above the foramen magnum to 5 mm below
Descending cerebellar tonsillar herniation is a serious and common complication of intracranial mass lesions
The majority of patients complain of severe head and neck pain. Headaches are often accentuated by coughing, sneezing or straining. Patients may complain of dizziness, vertigo, disequilibrium, muscle weakness or balance problems. Often fine motor skills and hand coordination will be affected.
Vision problems can also occur. Some patients experience blurred or double vision, difficulty in tracking objects or a hypersensitivity to bright lights.In cases involving a Chiari Malformation, the main goal of surgery is to provide more space for the cerebellum at the base of the skull and upper cervical spine. This often results in a flattening or disappearance of the syrinx as the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid is restored. In some cases it may be necessary to insert a shunt into the cavity, rerouting the cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal cord. A successful surgery will stabilize the condition but over time surgery is not always successful and multiple surgeries may be necessary. http://www.springerlink.com/content/eh4261yeb14tgdpn/
Refer http://www.hmc.psu.edu/pediatricneurosurgery/services/chiari.htm
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Avatar universal
Hi,

How are you?
Chiari 1 malformation occurs due to herniation of cerebellar tonsils. Patients with 0-5 mm herniation are usually asymptomatic.
Your symptoms are most likely due to chiari. However the cardiovascular diseases like heart murmur cannot be due to CM1.
Your doctor is right as surgery is indicated only when compression of the spinal cord occurs.
Hope this helps!

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