What is Chiari I Malformation?
In this condition, the back part of the brain extends into the spinal canal. Each person has different symptoms based on how severe the problem is. Many times people with this problem also have a spinal cord cyst (an abnormal collection of fluid). This cyst could also be the cause of the symptoms. Common symptoms of a Chiari I Malformation are headaches, pain in the neck, shoulders or arms, weakness or changes in the feeling in your hands, arms, or legs. The symptoms come on slowly and become worse with straining or coughing. Treatment of the Chiari I Malformation Your doctor may suggest surgery to make room for the back part of the brain that extends into the spinal canal. This often improves the symptoms or keeps them from getting worse. Pressure on this part of the brain is relieved by taking off the bone lying over the area and opening up the tissue that covers the brain (dura). When the pressure is relieved in this area, the normal flow of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) is restored.