Syringomyelia occurs when a tubular cavity (syrinx) develops within the spinal cord, caused by an obstruction of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) circulatory pathways. Approximately 80 percent of cases are the result of a Chiari malformation. Other causes include trauma, hemorrhage, infection and spinal cord tethering. An enlarged syrinx can cause painful sensory disturbances, and even paralysis of the extremities.
If your syringomyelia has progressed to an advanced stage, surgery may be recommended. Your neurosurgeon will work to restore the normal flow of spinal fluid, which may require posterior fossa decompression surgery. Your medical team will determine the best approach to syringomyelia surgery based on your overall health and the positive impact they feel the surgery can have on your well-being.