Chiari malformation is a structural defect in the base of the skull where brain tissue, or cerebellum, extends into the spinal canal. There are several types of chiari malformations but type one is the most common. Usually, the cerebellum, which is responsible for controlling balance, is situated overhead an opening in the skull which allows the spinal cord to extend through it undisturbed. This condition can develop if part of the skull is misshapen or abnormally small, thereby pressing on the brain and forcing it downward.
Chiari malformations are typically caused by a structural defect in the brain or spinal cord which can manifest during fetal development. In some cases, the condition can develop later in life though this acquired secondary chiari malformation is a far less common occurrence. Some of the potential causes of this condition include:
Most individuals with chiari malformation will not exhibit any obvious symptoms and will only be aware of the condition after diagnostic testing for another reason is carried out. However, if symptoms do develop, they may include the following:
Treatment depends on the type, symptoms, and severity of the condition. In some cases, treatment is not needed but for others, regular monitoring, medications, and surgery may be required. Other common treatment options may include:
Surgical treatment for chiari malformations should only be performed by a skilled and experienced specialist. As an expert in advanced cerebrovascular treatment techniques and a highly regarded developer of surgical instrumentation, Dr. Lewis has the required background to help patients manage this condition. In fact, he taught cerebrovascular science at University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in his early career.
Find relief for your symptoms at Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic, one of the most successful clinics of its kind.
Contact us today to learn more about chiari malformations or to schedule a consultation. We’ll find a solution that works for you. Call us at (601) 366-1011.