Chiari malformation is a condition in which the brain tissues extend or herniates into the spinal canal. It can happen when the posterior fossa (a space in the skull that has cerebellum, a part of brain) is smaller than usual pressing the brain downwards.
They are categorized into four categories- Type 1, Type 2, Type 3 and Type 4. Type 1 Chiari malformation develops as the skull and brain develop while Type 2,3 and 4 Chiari malformations are congenial, present by birth.
Depending on the type and severity of the condition, Arnold Chiari malformation can cause many like–
Chiari malformation type 2 is basically associated with a form of spina bifida called myelomeningocele.
Most of the patients need only symptomatic treatment as the Chiari malformation is usually small and does not lead to obstruction of the CSF flow. When there are severe symptoms or development of spinal cord syrinx due to obstruction of CSF flow, it needs Chiari malformation surgery.
This spine surgery involves the removal of a small portion of the bottom of the skull and spinal column in order to decompress the tonsils of the cerebellum.
If you have been advised surgery, then get a second opinion from another surgeon for Chiari malformation to know whether it is right for you.
Consult Dr. Arun with a professional experience of more than 13 years in the field of Neurosurgery