Referred to see a Neuro Surgeon help!!

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Hi all I wrote a while back regarding being diagnosed with Chiari. I found out I have an 8mm herniated from my neurologist and she has referred me to a neurosurgeon. Does that mean I need surgery? I have syncope episodes and other things like arm pain, chest pain, leg pain, back pain, severe neck pain, migraines and other things. Now they want to check something with my spine? Does anyone know of this and what should I expect? I'm just not sure what's next I'm all new to this and I see this is a good forum. Any and all comment and advice is welcome. I'm 34 been having symptoms since 13. Thanks just a little worried

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  • Posted

    Not a doctor, I just research everything:

    A) Get a Cine MRI. It shows it there is any CSF(cerebral spinal fluid)  flow blockage. You have TWO Cerebellar tonsils.

    The cerebellum is a region of the brain that plays an important role in motor control,  cognitive functions such as attention and language, and in regulating fear and pleasure responses. Its' movement-related functions are the most solidly established. The cerebellum does not initiate movement, but contributes to coordination, precision, and accurate timing. It receives input from sensory systems of the spinal cord and from other parts of the brain, and integrates these inputs to fine-tune motor activity.  Cerebellar damage produces disorders in fine movement, equilibrium, posture, and motor learning.

    When the cerebellum gets squished, as in Chiari, where the skull is too small, the functions of the cerebellum get impaired: hence- problems with balance, movement, coordination, etc. 

    B) Check to see if tonsils are both 8cm.  Chances are the tonsils are not the same size. But if together they are blocking CSF flow, you will need surgery.  That is the only way to unblock the foramen magnum.

    What happens is that the cerebellum grows and gets in the way of pulsing cerebral spinal fluid. Fluid keeps on pulsing, pushing tissue down into the foramen magnum (Hole where spinal cord comes in and connects to brain). Fluid will continue to push tissue down until tissue blocks the foramen magnum. 

    C) If you have surgery, I have an entire cheat sheet of information. 

    D) They may want to check your spine just to check for problems further down the spinal canal. Like a Syrinx (fluid filled sac). 

    E) No worries. Most people do well after surgery. Some people have symptoms later. Which is just the way it is.  If you don't do surgery, your spinal canal is blocked and that causes many of your symptoms. Plus the cerebellum continues to press against the brain stem.

    F) The brainstem (or brain stem) is the posterior part of the brain, adjoining and structurally continuous with the spinal cord. The brainstem provides the main motor and sensory innervation to the face and neck via the cranial nerves. Of the twelve pairs of cranial nerves, ten pairs come from the brainstem. Though small, this is an extremely important part of the brain as the nerve connections of the motor and sensory systems from the main part of the brain to the rest of the body pass through the brainstem. This includes the corticospinal tract (motor), the posterior column-medial lemniscus pathway (fine touch, vibration sensation, and proprioception), and the spinothalamic tract (pain, temperature, itch, and crude touch).

    The brainstem also plays an important role in the regulation of cardiac and respiratory function. It also regulates the central nervous system, and is pivotal in maintaining consciousness and regulating the sleep cycle. The brainstem has many basic functions including heart rate, breathing, sleeping, and eating.

    So- continual pressure on the brain stem by the cerebellum impairs functioning.

    G) Do as much research as you can. Get ahold of your MRI and any other test results and study them to see what they recommend. This is the best way to stay sane and not worry too much!!! 

    H)  HANG IN THERE!!!

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the information. I will ask that question. My Neurologist said it's pretty squished in there. I do have my MRI picture not sure if I can tell from there. I have to schedule an appointment with the Neuro surgeon and hopefully see what he says but I will continue to research.thanks

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  • Posted

    Hi Julia...

    You are probably being referred to a neurosurgeon so that the proper tests can be ordered, and just in case you do need surgery in the future. They will probably check your spine for a syrinx (cyst), this is a side effect of Chiari, and from what I understand it is quite common. Don't fret, the surgeon will likely discuss both surgical and non-surgical options that may be available to you.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. I will stay positive and not fret. It's good then that I'm going to see a surgeon to have further testing. I want to know if I can wait for surgery.

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  • Posted

    Hello Julia

    I had all your symptoms except chest pain, but I had palpitations instead.

    I was referred to a neurosurgeon who suggested surgery almost immediately. I've since had decompression surgery along will a dura patch and the removal of the first virtibrae.

    I'm now recovering although quite a bumpy ride, I had a leak from the dura patch which made me really unwell. I'm nearly fully recovered and my op was July 5th 2016.

    Bladder and bowel problems are great, headache's are no way what they were, back, arm, leg, shoulder pain is still there unfortunately.

    Good luck Julia

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