Syringomyelia (sir-RING-o-my-elia) occurs when a tubular cavity (syrinx) develops within the spinal cord, caused by an obstruction of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) circulatory pathways. Approximately 80 percent of cases are the result of a Chiari malformation. Other causes include trauma, hemorrhage, infection and spinal cord tethering. An enlarged syrinx can give rise to painful sensory disturbances and paralysis of the extremities. Dr. Thomas H. Milhorat and his colleagues have published definitive studies on the pathology, pain syndromes and surgical management of syringomyelia (SM).
What other conditions are related to Chiari malformation?
Other Chiari-related disorders treated at the Chiari Institute include basilar invagination (protrusion of the upper end of the spine into the skull); craniospinal instability; intracranial and intraspinal cysts; tumors of the cerebellum, brain stem and spinal cord; spina bifida; spinal cord tethering; hydrocephalus (a buildup of CSF in the cavities of the brain); and pseudotumor cerebri (chronically raised CSF pressure).
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