Chiari malformations (CMs) are structural defects in the cerebellum. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls balance. With CM, brain tissue extends into the spinal canal. It can happen when part of the skull is too small, which pushes the brain tissue down. There are several types of CM. Some cause no symptoms and don't need treatment. If you have symptoms, they may include
- Neck pain
- Balance problems
- Numbness or other abnormal feelings in the arms or legs
- Vision problems
- Difficulty swallowing
- Poor hand coordination
Doctors diagnose CM using imaging tests. Medicines may ease some symptoms, such as pain. Surgery is the only treatment available to correct or stop the progression of nerve damage.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- Chiari Malformation (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Chiari Malformation (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - Short Summary
- Chiari Malformation (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Available in Spanish
- Chiari Malformation (Nemours Foundation) Available in Spanish
Treatments and Therapies
- Chiari Malformation: Treatment (C&S Patient Education Foundation) - PDF
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Arnold-Chiari Malformation (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Demographic confounders in volumetric MRI analysis: is the posterior fossa...
- Article: Intraoperative somatosensory evoked potential recovery following opening of the fourth...
- Article: Pediatric and adult Chiari malformation Type I surgical series 1965-2013:...
- Chiari Malformation -- see more articles
- Glossary of Medical Terms (C&S Patient Education Foundation)
Find an Expert
- American Syringomyelia & Chiari Alliance Project
- Conquer Chiari (C&S Patient Education Foundation)
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Available in Spanish
- Pediatric Chiari (C&S Patient Education Foundation)