Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.
I know this is a very scary and difficult condition to deal with especially for your child.
The length of herniation is not always the reason to have surgery...it is the CSF flow and other related issues...retroflexed odontoid..sleep apnea (which he should be tested for B4 surgery)
Syringomyelia...and Ehlers-Danlos...all of these should be ruled out b4 surgery is considered as they can affect the outcome of surgery.
I would caution you to get more testing and info.....and see a few Drs that are true Chiari specialists and compare the info from each.
Can I ask what dr u see? My son is 6 and had to have decompression surgury december 2014. We also live in mn and his drs are the mayo in rochester. It is really scary to see your child go through this but over all it was the best thing I could of done for my son. He had headaches everyday for almost 2 years before we figured it out. He still has some problems but not like it was a year ago.
Thanks for your replies, sorry for the late reply, I am trying to take all this in.
We consulted with three other neurosurgeons, only one of them has done chari surgeries (50 in the past year), as my wife is an IM physician.
All of them recommended getting it done as it is at the C2 level, it sounded like they were saying it is better to get it done than wait for future complications.
We might ask for spine MRI to check if he has scoliosis or syrinx as he does bend and likes to lie down or use support a lot.
I will pm you my doctor samsam5mom, he does 2 chiari surgeries a week, I read your comments, did you have post surgical concerns.