Hello Cary and welcome! I am assuming you have been diagnosed with CM? What decompression is, is Posterior Fossa Decompression or PFD. What that means is that they make more room for your brain by removing part of the skull at this area at the back of head craniocervical junction. Sometimes they will remove the top cervical vertebrae(s)(laminectomy) and open the covering of the brain(dura) and sew in a patch to make more room there. That patch can come from several different sources.
This is the only treatment for Chiari and everyone is not a surgical candidate. It is determined by blockage of csf fluid, whether or not there is a syrinx, and your symptoms, the degree they are affecting your life.
Hope this helps,
Forgot to add: Surgery is not a cure. It is meant as a means to slow progression and hopefully avoid a possible syrinx.
Thanks Pam...great job explaining PFD....
A way to make it easy to tell others if that is all too much....
tell them ur brain stem is compressed by ur brain falling out of the skull, the surgery de-compresses the area.....
And like Pam mentioned, it is not a cure or a fix, just a means to restore CSF flow and avoid the formation of a syrinx .
It is a lot to take in...just know it took us all a while to learn about this too...and the more u ask the more u learn : )