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Chiari Malformation Community
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Avatar universal

Syrinx after car accident

I have read through so many of the questions and answers, and appreciate everyone's time and information.  I too have done lots of research, literally scaring myself.  I was in a car accident two weeks ago, my car just lost control in rain, on the highway, and drove into concrete highway barriers at 65 miles per hour.  It was the scariest and most painful moment of my life.  I was in so much pain, I knew something had gone terribly wrong and could barely move to dial 911.

I have a fracture in my spine vertebrae, T12, and wearing back brace.  I was hospitalized for three days, but after I went home I felt very weird at night sleeping.  I had numbness and weakness in my left leg and foot, and left lower arm and hand.  I went back to Emergency and was hospitalized again, this time they did full MRI of spine.  They found a Syrinx at C6-C7, the surgeon told me so casually and I immediately Googled it while he was still there and burst out crying.  He said no need to worry, we will just monitor it, it's not that big.  I'm supposed to see him for follow up, but due to holidays it's been so hard to get an appointment with him, so I'll be seeing him in two more weeks.  I'm also consulting with a different neurosurgeon who specializes with this in a few days.  

Based on anyone's experiences, do you think I should push for surgery?  Since I am already having the symptoms?  I get jitters at night, like little seizures.  Weird headaches too, which a neurologist wrote for a brain MRI too soon.  

Anyways, I'm new to this, and like all of you, my life is changed now.  I look at things so differently, I used to take my active lifestyle, healthy, and ability to be so active for granted.  I love being in the gym, running, lifting weights, and just picking up whatever I want; can't do that anymore.  I hope I'm just overreacting.  At this point, I'm just happy to be alive, life is so precious and will fight for it.  

One piece of information I found as I researched online, this was for a credible research by surgeons and professors.  Apparently lifting weights, or anything like constipation can make the Syrinx grow.  So I think one way to avoid the growth, if possible, is to not lift heavy things, don't do weight lifting at the gym, just cardio.  AND most importantly I think breathing exercises help, like yoga, because it opens up your lungs thus relaxing your mind and body, I think your spirit and being positive does make a difference, and eating healthy foods to avoid constipation and promote bone health as well.  We are naturally fighters and want to live, life is too precious, let's not waste it being sad about this.  Look on the bright side of things, there is always a bright side.  Even if one knows there is little time left to live, why not spend that little time not thinking about the issue and enjoying the time rather than being sad and miserable about it, as that never helps and in fact stress always makes things worse.  Just my thoughts, hope to get some feedback and your experiences too.  
5 Responses
620923 tn?1452919248
COMMUNITY LEADER

Hi  and welcome to the Chiari  forum.

  A syrinx  generally does not  form that quickly....so,I  have to ask...do  you know  if the syrinx is  due to  this accident  and injury  or could  it have  been  there?

  A  syrinx  can  develop  rapidly  as  well  but is  less likely  to  do  so....most tend to be slow  in growing....

  Surgery  for  a syrinx  is  not done most times  especially  if  the syrinx  is  small as  a stent  or  shunt  will  not work.....for  those that also  have  Chiari (cause  of  the syrinx   to  form)  surgery  for  Chiari is done  with hopes the restored  CSF flow will  allow  the syrinx  to  shrink.

  They  then  monitor  the  syrinx  to see  if  it is shrinking  or growing,,,.

  It  is  true, that straining  may  help  trigger  symptoms....so  avoiding straining will  help  you  with  that....

   Move forward  with  the brain MRI  to see if the syrinx  may be  due to something  other then this  recent  MVA....which  may  have  just  triggered  symptoms  to  flare....

  Slow down...breathe....do  not rush  into  anything right  now....get  as  much  info  and  testing  first....and  do  research Drs to find  one  well  experienced  with Syringomyelia.( related  to Chiari, so  a Chiari specialist will be whom you want)
Avatar universal
Thanks so much for your reply and information, very helpful.  The reason I think it is from the accident is I had an MRI of my head and neck few years ago, due to neck pain.  They never saw anything unusual and just said it was due to stress, which I was in, so I started exercising and improving my lifestyle to rid of stress which improved the stiffness and headache.  

These symptoms are also completely alien and new to me, really strange, and I had never heard of Syrinx or had worries of spine/brain problems.  But I will look into what you said further.  I will try to track down old MRI's to do some research.

I agree, I will get more advice from different doctors before rushing into anything.  Thanks again, and Happy Holidays!
620923 tn?1452919248
COMMUNITY LEADER

Yes definitely  request  copies  of  that  older  MRI  as  many  times  they  do not  tell  us about Chiari  as  most  Drs  find it  an incidental finding.....I  had  a MRI  of  my  lower  back  and  it  showed  tethered  cord....I  did not  find  out  until  yrs  later....

   Wishing  you  a Merry  Christmas  and a  Happy  and  Healthy New  Year !
10169340 tn?1415849761
Hi and welcome,  you have found a great group!! Glad your with us, everyone her gives their personal opinion and lots of helpful suggestions.. So I will do the same...just so you know I have CM1 and CranioCervical instability, and in2 days I am going to have my second brain surgery, I had my first decompression 2 yrs ago but the doctor I had then, only knew about Chiari..and nothing else and this is why  it failed!!! A few months after surgery I had all the symptoms came back and they returned with a vengeance!! You need to find a Neuro Sargent that understands all aspects of the brain..Chiari malformation, Syringomaelia,cranialcervical Instability and Pseudotumor Ceribrie..this way you know that they will cover everything
Also my daughter at the age of 18 was hit fron behind by a truck while she was at a stop light, the trucks brakes gave out, when she was in the hospital they told us she had whiplash...but afew days later she started to feel pain and numbness in her arm, her PCP ordered an MRI of the scull and spine, and that when we found out she had a Syringo, in her C1and C2,( never had a headace before this in her life!!!) filled with spinal fluid, when we was the NS he told us that the accident caused the syringo to fill up and that she need surgery rite away, because the numbness could turn into paralyzation...this was 17yrs ago and now up until today thanking God she is doing great!!! The reaso I tell you this is because we were told that it can happen with a car accident...so you need to find a good doctor first !!! Good luck
Avatar universal
Thank you so much!!! This is very helpful information.  I know mine is from the car accident too, because I never had any of these symptoms before, I had great balance.  Since my post I've had more issues, it seems like the left side of my body has issues :(  Now I have balance problems, my left leg keeps getting weaker and getting nerve pain, which I never knew what it was until now :(   I am checking out doctors to get different opinions. Your comment is very helpful, I will ask about everything you mentioned.  I hope all is well with you and your daughter.  Happy Holidays!!  
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