When there is limited space for the cerebellum at the base of the skull, it can be forced down into the spinal canal. This condition is known as chiari malformation. The position of the cerebellum can block the flow of spinal fluid and compress both the brain and spinal cord. While symptoms vary, some cases can be so severe they require surgery to relieve the build-up of pressure. Chiari decompression surgery, or posterior fossa decompression, is a process where bone from the back of your skull and spine is removed to create more room for the brain and spinal cord. The aim of this procedure is to prevent further damage to these areas by providing more space and restoring the flow of spinal fluid, while relieving symptoms including headaches, balance issues, tingling, numbness and weakness that are associated to chiari malformation.
Your doctor will take several factors into consideration before recommending this procedure to treat your chiari malformation. Chiari decompression and duraplasty surgery may be necessary for the following reasons:
In recent years, medical advancements have made minimally invasive chiari decompression possible. This procedure accomplishes the same outcome as traditional surgery, but your surgeon makes smaller incisions using specialized tools and endoscopic visualization. Read on to learn more about what you can expect before, during and after the procedure:
While symptoms can take some time to resolve following surgery, most patients experience some form of immediate relief from common symptoms like neck pain, headaches, dizziness, nausea, difficulty swallowing or speaking, blurred vision, trouble sleeping, and numbness in the face and limbs. Additional benefits of chiari decompression and duraplasty surgery include:
Choosing surgical treatment for your chiari malformation can be a daunting prospect for some individuals. Fortunately, Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic is committed to making the process as safe and comfortable as possible through the use of minimally invasive surgical techniques, in addition to an emphasis on patient-focused care. Dr. Lewis is a renowned neurosurgeon with over 30 years of experience in the field of neuroscience. He specializes in treating chiari malformations, in addition to many other neurological disorders, at one of the top clinics in the state, and has also these valuable skills and techniques to other surgeons across the country.
Contact us today to learn more about chiari decompression and duraplasty or to schedule a consultation. We’ll find a solution that works for you. Call us at (601) 366-1011.