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What is syringomyelia?

Syringomyelia is a neurological disorder characterized by a fluid-filled cavity (syrinx) within the spinal cord. The cavity, for unknown reasons, often expands during adolescence or the young adult years. The syrinx is situated near the middle of the spine. It may extend across the spinal cord or along almost all of its length. There are broadly three types of syringomyelia. The most common type is associated with congenital brain abnormalities, while the second type develops as a complication following spinal trauma, infection or tumour. The third type is caused by unknown factors, and is called idiopathic syringomyelia. Without treatment, the result of syringomyelia may be paraplegia or quadriplegia. Treatment options include surgery.

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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