Overview

Chiari malformation is a congenital condition in which the cerebellum – a part of the brain that controls balance and movements – bulges through the spinal canal. It usually occurs when the skull size is smaller than usual, pushing the brain down to the normal opening where the skull connects with the spinal cord.

There are various types of Chiari Malformation but Type I is the most common. This type is congenital, it is present at the time of birth. Type II, III, and IV may also occur depending on the anatomy of the brain tissues and developmental problems of the brain. The condition is mostly treated with Chiari malformation surgery.

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    A doctor conducting diagnostics for Spinal Cord Compression

    Symptoms

    Most people with Chiari Malformation may not experience any signs or symptoms at all. However, others may experience symptoms depending on the type and severity of the condition.

    • Headache
    • Stiffness in the back of head and neck
    • Vision problems
    • Poor hand coordination
    • Difficulty swallowing food
    • Difficulty speaking
    A spine surgeon standing with stethoscope in one hand

    Diagnosis

    Chiari malformation usually causes no symptoms and a person may live without knowing they have this condition. It is often diagnosed when imaging tests are performed for unrelated disorders. If your doctors suspect that you might have Chiari malformation, they will ask you to conduct the following tests:

    • MRI Scan
    • CT Scan
    A doctor explaining the treatment of chiari malformation

    Treatment

    Chiari malformation that does not cause any signs and symptoms should be left alone and does not require any treatment. In some cases, medications are used to ease the pain. However, Chiari malformation surgery is the only treatment option in severe cases. Chiari malformation surgery helps to:

    • Reduce pressure on the brain and spine
    • Ensure the normal circulation of CSF fluid

    Why Choose Us?

    There are different types of Chiari Malformation. Our expert Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe at Southern California Brain & Spine Surgery evaluates each condition separately and decides on the best treatment option for her patients.

    1.

    Advanced diagnostic methods

    2.

    State-of-the-art technology

    3.

    Minimal Invasive Surgery

    4.

    Patient-centered approach

    5.

    Recovery with less downtime

    6.

    Outstanding patient care

    For more information call us at (213) 369-4583 or visit our office in Los Angeles today!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    faq
    What should I do if I suspect any symptoms of Chiari Malformation in my child?
    A:

    Many children suffering from Chiari Malformation do not need treatment. However, call your doctor right away if you suspect any symptoms in your child. Kids with this condition should avoid activities like gymnastics, wrestling, etc.

    Can Chiari Malformation get worse with time?
    A:

    Yes. The condition may worsen as you age. That’s why it’s important to get Chiari Malformation surgery treatment soon after the diagnosis.