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Incorrect diagnosis?

Around 2 -3 years ago i got an mri so they could make sure i didn’t have optic nerve damage after a possible concussion. Results came back and said no nerve damage however i did have results “consistent with” a chiari malformation. i planned on being a firefighter and have never had any chiari symptoms to his day (almost 20 now) but i don’t want to cause symptoms from a strenuous job. I lift weights pretty much everyday and played hockey all my life neither have caused any symptoms. is it possible i got an incorrect diagnosis? i don’t want to throw my aspirations out the door if i don’t have to.
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620923 tn?1452915648
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi and welcome to  the Chiari forum.
Have you been retested? The reason I ask, is a blow to the head can cause low lying tonsils to form, and if you did not have symptoms, it is possible the tonsils retracted.....However if, in fact you have Chiari , which is a congenital condition anything at anytime  can cause symptoms to flare. You may be able to be a firefighter, and you may not it all depends on how your Chiari will affect you doing that type of activity.
We are all different an d our Chiari will affect each of us  differently as  may  of us also have co-morbid  conditions along with Chiari and they all will cause varying symptoms.

See if your local firefighters union will allow you to try out their training....see how you do, but since it is a few years, get retested to see if in fact your Chiari is , there.,..and the reason I say that is because low lying tonsils is acquired Chiari.......not  Chiari...and the tonsils may have retracted and no longer an issue.
Please keep  us posted on what you find out about your Chiari and your firefighting aspirations. Good Luck!
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9 Comments
How fast would they retract if it was just cause of a blow to the head?
It really depends....they do not always retract....George Clooney hit his head on set of the movie Syriana, his did not retract and he had surgery.....everyone is different as to how they feel and how the symptoms affect them.

Hm I didn’t know that. Thanks for the help!
No worries, may I ask, did you hit your head?....It is also possible to have a congenital Chiari Malformation and not notice symptoms until a head injury as well.....so, your MRI's will be very useful to determine which you have. And as a side note: congenital conditions are difficult to pinpoint as well  as those with it do not recognize symptoms since they always felt that way....so until someone points out it as not "normal" we consider how we feel doing certain activities as "normal" and do not see a reason to tell a Dr....or acknowledge to a Dr when asked....
I did hit my head in a hockey game. After getting concussion tested they recommended an mri to look at optic nerve because of vision problems caused by the hit(which went away a week or less after the hit). I’ve never had any symptoms but they looked at the MRI and said i had compatible results with a chiari malformation.
One symptom i do have a question on is the neck/shoulder pain. what is it supposed to feel like? I’ve noticed my upper traps get more sore then other parts of my body after lifting weight and i’ve always questioned if they could be related.
I do have issues with that area as well.....I have also been DX'd with Ehlers-Danlos and I feel that is why I have that issue....

Question, did they do a CINE MRI?

It is very possible  if indeed you have Chiari that you had symptoms, but considered how you felt as "normal" since you always felt that way when doing certain activities....
But it is very possible to have low lying tonsils and not Chiari....
Again I will stress Chiari is not the herniation of the cerebral tonsils but a malformation of the skull making the area too small to contain the cerebral tonsils and they herniate as a result of the malformation.
A Dr should be able to tell you if the skull is malformed or if you have low lying tonsils.I said should because some Drs refer to low lying tonsils as Chiari...and many do not feel Chiari affects us at all.....
So let me rephrase that to say a Chiari specialist should be able to help you determine which is the correct DX for you.
There wasn’t a cine mri done. it was labeled as an accidental finding and as far as i’m aware it wasn’t a full diagnosis of chiari just that results could signify it. Notes also don’t say whether a malformation was found. I plan on making an appointment to figure it out better. Sorry i’m not the most informed about chiari and still learning. thanks for all the help
No need to apologize this is how you learn, and we help....we both ask questions....that leads us to answers.
FYI- Many with Chiari  were told it was an incidental finding.... so, it is not unusual for the DX to not be there at first indications.....

Just a thought, there are a few Chiari specialists that will do video chats with you and some will review your MRI as well.....
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