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Chiari Malformation Surgery

Chiari Malformation Surgery at Sunrise Hospital

Chiari Malformation is a disorder which can cause multiple problems and may become a debilitating condition in many people. The main problem tends to be severe headaches, typically in the back of the head, often with a pressure-type feeling, but other common associated complaints include neck pain, shoulder region pain, arm pain and/or numbness, coldness in the hands and feet, swallowing problems, ringing in the ears, clumsiness, bladder control issues, chronic fatigue and even difficulty thinking clearly.

The problem is caused by pressure on the end of the brainstem, the part of the brain that passes through the hole in the bottom of the skull and then becomes the spinal cord. The base of the skull, which houses the cerebellum and the brainstem, is actually too small in some people; this can cause part of the cerebellum to protrude through the hole in the bottom of the skull, contributing to the pressure on the brainstem. Surgery is available to relieve this pressure, and the results are often dramatic.