BEFORE NEUROSURGERY AFTER NEUROSURGERY
The first treatment given for pediatric and adult patients affected by Chiari Syndrome with or without Syringomyelia is the neurosurgical action with posterior fossa decompression (PFD).
The fact that a Syringomyelia cavity or a Chiari Malformation has been discovered does not mean that person has to have surgery.
Sometimes, an individual is not under any threat of developing a major disability but he or she may suffer frequent distressing symptoms. That person must then decide whether or not their symptoms are so bad that they need an operation.
There are arguments for and against the various surgical procedures used to treat Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia. It is important to stress that no one approach can be said to be better than another in all circumstances. A multidisciplinary team (neurologist, neurosurgeon, neuroradiologist and all specialists involved) will need to consider the options available in an individual case.
Many of the symptoms of syringomyelia continue after surgery, even when the syrinx cavity has been satisfactorily reduced. Drugs are available to treat some of these symptoms, but often they are only partially effective and sometimes fail to give any useful relief. Occasionally, alternative treatments such as physiotherapy, relaxation techniques, and acupuncture may help.
Overall, however, these persistent symptoms cannot always be controlled and many patients have to cope with some degree of discomfort, caused by their Syringomyelia or Chiari Malformation.
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Text based on “Syringomyelia &Hindbrain Hernia”
(Chiari Malformation) by Graham Flint, The Ann Conroy Trust, 2006
Critical review by Dr. Palma Ciaramitaro