Adams R. Schatzki R. The Arnold-Chiari malformation.
Back to Health A to Z. A Chiari malformation, previously called an Arnold-Chiari malformation, is where the lower part of the brain pushes down into the spinal canal. In someone with Chiari I, the lowest part of the back of the brain extends into the spinal canal.
In Chiari malformation surgery, doctors remove a small section of bone at the back of your skull to make room for part of your brain cerebellum and relieve pressure on your brainstem, cerebellum and spinal cord. Chiari malformation kee-AH-ree mal-for-MAY-shun is a condition in which brain tissue extends into your spinal canal. It occurs when part of your skull is abnormally small or misshapen, pressing on your brain and forcing it downward.
A Chiari malformation is a problem in which a part of the brain the cerebellum at the back of the skull bulges through a normal opening in the skull where it joins the spinal canal. This puts pressure on parts of the brain and spinal cord, and can cause mild to severe symptoms. In most cases, the problem is present at birth congenital.
The signs and symptoms of Chiari malformation can vary greatly from one person to another. Some individuals may not have any symptoms asymptomatic upon diagnosis as an incidental finding; others may have serious manifestations such as neurological deficits. Symptoms may go through periods of exacerbation and remission.
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The Mayfield Chiari Center provides neurosurgical evaluation and treatment of adult patients with Chiari malformation. If you are seeking treatment in Cincinnati, we offer a no-cost case review by one of our neurosurgeons. For more information, call and ask for a Chiari Initial Care Specialist.
Patient education is a powerful weapon in our battle against Chiari and syringomyelia. An informed patient is able to intelligently select a doctor, understand the issues and choices that must be made, be proactive, and most importantly, take charge of their healthcare. These FAQ's are for informational purposes only and in no way represent an attempt to provide medical advice. This information may or may not apply to your case and anyone with a question or concern about their health is strongly encouraged to consult with a medical professional.
Chiari pronounced key-AR-ee malformation is a condition in which the lower part of the brain, called the cerebellar tonsil, herniates down through the skull and into the spinal canal. The herniated tissue blocks the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid CSF. Instead of moving in an easy, pulsating movement through this opening, the fluid begins to force its way through — like a water hammer — pushing the tonsils down even farther.