What Is A Chiari Malformation?

A Chiari malformation is a severe neurological defect in which the cerebellum — the region at the bottom part of the brain that controls balance and motor control — descends out of the skull. The resulting pressure on the cerebellum can block the liquid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord (known as cerebrospinal fluid). In some cases, blockage of the cerebrospinal fluid can cause a cyst, known as a syrinx, to form. The expansion of this cyst can damage the spinal cord, causing hand weakness, sensory loss and possible paralysis.

Symptoms Of This Disorder

There are three types of Chiari malformations. The most common, Type I, usually occurs at birth. These are often asymptomatic until symptoms are induced as a result of a trauma, such as an automobile accident. Symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Impaired vision
  • Impaired coordination

Most people are not aware that they have a Chiari I malformation until diagnosed by a medical professional. Diagnosis of a Chiari I malformation is made through consultations with a neurologist and is confirmed through magnetic resonance imaging. Although every case is unique, a decompressive surgery of the opening of the base of the skull, known as the foramen magnum, may be required to correct the defect.

Get Legal Help On The Difficult Road Ahead

At the Minnesota law firm of Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz, P.A., we are familiar with the unique challenges posed by Chiari malformations. If you or someone you know is suffering from these symptoms after a car accident or other personal injury, our attorneys can help. Call 612-444-5604 to arrange a free consultation.

We can meet you at any of our 13 offices throughout the Twin Cities metro, or we can come to you if needed. Our lawyers work with injury victims across Minnesota.