Overview

Arteriovenous Malformation refers to an abnormal tangle of the blood vessel that creates an unusual connection between arteries and veins. It may occur anywhere in the body. When it happens in or near the spinal cord, it is called Spinal Arteriovenous Malformation.
Blood moves from arteries to veins through thin-walled small vessels called capillaries. In Spinal AVMs, arteries and veins form a direct connection that disrupts the natural cycle of blood flow. Without capillaries, high-pressured blood passes into veins leading to the development of an aneurysm — a bulge in a weakened vessel wall. If aneurysm ruptures, it can cause a hemorrhage and other dangerous conditions.

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    Symptoms

    Symptoms of Spinal AVM vary depending on the location and severity of AVMs. Symptoms may include the following:

    • Muscle weakness or paralysis
    • Pain in legs, problem in walking and climbing stairs
    • Severe back pain
    • Difficulty urinating
    • Loss of bowel or bladder control
    • Neck stiffness
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    Diagnosis

    Spinal AVMs can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms may be similar to other spinal conditions such as spinal stenosis, spinal dural arteriovenous fistula, spinal cord tumor, or multiple sclerosis.
    Neurologists may conduct the following test to diagnose spinal AVM accurately:

    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    • Angiography
    • CT scans
    • Magnetic resonance angiography
    A spine surgeon standing with stethoscope in one hand

    Treatment

    Treatment of spinal AVM involves either endovascular therapy or surgery. The procedure of endovascular therapy/endovascular embolization involves passing a tiny catheter into AVM from the groin (the femoral artery) and releasing a glue-like material into AVM that can seal off sections, or in some cases, the whole malformation. In case of surgery, a neurologist performs a laminectomy on the area where AVM is present and removes the lesion. The surgical options include:

    • Conventional surgery
    • Radiosurgery

    Why Choose Us?

    Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe is an internationally recognized neurosurgeon who is an expert in the treatment of spinal AVMs and other brain and spine surgeries. In addition to arteriovenous malformation, she specializes in aneurysms, strokes, tumors, compression fractures, and various other disorders of the brain and spine.

    1.

    Advanced diagnostic methods

    2.

    State-of-the-art technology

    3.

    Minimally 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
    Does AVM grow back after surgery?
    A:

    There is a possibility of AVM recurrence after complete surgical resection. Though it happens rarely, there is a chance of recurrence, especially in children.

    What if Spinal Arteriovenous Malformation is left untreated?
    A:

    If Spinal Arteriovenous is left untreated, it can lead to severe stroke, can damage your spinal cord permanently, and may lead to paralysis in serious conditions.