Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.


Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Chiari malformation type 1


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • Arnold Chiari malformation type I
  • Chiari malformation type I
  • Chiari type I malformation
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

I am 23 years old. For 3 years I have been suffering from this critical problem. Please suggest how I might get rid of it so I can enjoy my life.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

How might Chiari malformation type 1 be treated?

Some individuals with Chiari malformation type 1 are asymptomatic and do not require treatment.[1] Individuals who have minimal symptoms, without syringomyelia, can typically be treated conservatively. Mild neck pain and headaches can usually be treated with pain medications, muscle relaxants, and the occasional use of a soft collar.[2]

Individuals with more severe symptoms may be in need of surgery.[2] Surgery is the only treatment available to correct functional disturbances or halt the progression of damage to the central nervous system.[1] The goals of surgical treatment are decompression of the point where the skull meets the spine (the cervicomedullary junction) and restoration of normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the region of the foramen magnum (the hole in the bottom of the skull where the spinal cord passes to connect to the brain).[2] Prognosis after surgery for the condition is generally good and typically depends on the extent of neurological deficits that were present before the surgery. Most individuals have a reduction of symptoms and/or prolonged periods of relative stability. More than one surgery may be needed to treat the condition.[1][2]
Last updated: 3/12/2012