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What's the treatment for syringomyelia?

The goals of treatment are to stop progression of spinal cord damage and to maximize functioning. Surgical decompression may be appropriate, if there is an identifiable mass compressing the spinal cord. Physical therapy may be needed to maximize muscular function. In cases involving a Chiari Malformation, the main goal of surgery is to provide more space for the cerebellum at the base of the skull and upper cervical spine. This often results in a flattening or disappearance of the syrinx as the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid is restored. In some cases it may be necessary to insert a shunt into the cavity, rerouting the cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal cord. A successful surgery will stabilize the condition and perhaps gain a modest improvement in symptoms, but over time surgery is not always successful and multiple surgeries may be necessary. With surgery, symptoms improve or do not get worse for most patients. Delaying treatment may cause permanent spinal cord injury.

More information on syringomyelia

What is syringomyelia? - Syringomyelia is a neurological disorder characterized by a fluid-filled cavity (syrinx) within the spinal cord.
What causes syringomyelia? - Syringomyelia is caused by a formation of a fluid-filled cavity within the spinal cord. Spinal cord trauma may manifest years later as syringomyelia.
What're the symptoms of syringomyelia? - Physical examination may reveal nystagmus (involuntary eye movements). Other symptoms include tinnitus, hearing loss or vocal cord paralysis.
How is syringomyelia diagnosed? - Neurologic examination may show loss of sensation or movement caused by compression of the spinal cord.
What's the treatment for syringomyelia? - The goals of treatment for syringomyelia are to stop progression of spinal cord damage and to maximize functioning.
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