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Arnold Chiari Malformation ....

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Old 06-01-2012, 12:02 PM   #1
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Arnold Chiari Malformation ....

Anyone familiar with what this is? Know anyone who has it? Just looking for some words of wisdom, advice, etc.

The last couple weeks I had a couple MRI's to discover the reason for tingling in my right finger & thumb. The MRI came up with a couple different problems. Thickening spinal ligament putting pressure on my spinal chord which is the cause of my tingles.... and fluid buildup in my spine caused by the Chiari Malformation.

Cortisone shot in the future - and monitoring of the fluid in my spine (and/or symptoms to come - if any).

Just trying to understand all this - how to manage myself differently to deal with it. I've gotta slow down....and that's gonna be hard to do!!

No more lifting weights at the gym....and no more rotating heavy tires by myself either.

Gahhhh!!!
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Old 06-01-2012, 03:59 PM   #2
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No I don't. In fact it is the first time I've ever heard of this, but you got my sympathies!
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:11 PM   #3
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So, there are 4 types of Arnold Chiari, but from what you're describing (and the fact that you're an adult), you likely have Type I, which is the most common. Type II, III, and IV usually have much worse symptoms and are associated with other neurological deficits.

AC Type I is a congenital malformation (you're born with it) where the very bottom of your brain (cerebellar tonsils) pokes through the large hole at the base of your skull (foramen magnum). This "poking through" (aka herniation) is made worse by straining, laughing, coughing, sneezing, etc....

Symptoms can be variable; the fact that you're 44 and you haven't had symptoms yet is usually a good prognostic indicator, but anything's possible. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to: Headaches, dizziness, ringing in your ears, nausea, facial pain, muscle weakness (mostly in arms/hands). Fluid buildup (hydrocephalus) around your brain can also occur.

Treatment is conservative or aggressive; conservative treatment includes limiting exertion, steroid injections to relieve the inflammation around the nerves in your neck/at the base of your skull. Aggressive treatment consists of neurosurgery, where a surgeon basically shaves a little off of the sides and back of the top 2 vertebrae of your spine, and shaves a little off of the base of your skull to relieve the pressure on your spinal cord.

I've known a couple of people who have done well with surgical decompression. The surgery isn't as simple as removing a bunion off of your foot, but it also isn't as involved as open heart surgery.

Thoughts, comments?
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:13 AM   #4
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Thanks Gang!!

I've googled it a bit .... And now that I've calmed down from having a bit of anxiety of the whole situation.... It makes me wonder what I can do to help prevent any further damage/fluid.

I don't have symptoms - although, in looking back....about twice a year, I get vertigo & unbalanced feelings that last for a couple days. I think their main concern is the buildup of the fluid/cyst in my spinal chord. I'll have to get another MRI in a year so they can take a look at the situation again and see if the cyst is getting bigger. I hope and pray I don't suddenly develop symptoms that are worse.....

With my other symptoms, I'm wondering what types of exercises I can do to keep things limber....I wanna keep in shape but I don't want to further the issues.

Thanks for listening to my venting .....
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:51 AM   #5
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As far as exercising is concerned....annoyingly enough, you might have to do some low impact business. I.E. Yoga, pilates, blah blah blah....no more heavy squats/deadlifts for you. :-(

Cardio shouldn't be a problem....swimming/cycling suit your fancy?
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceman1183 View Post
As far as exercising is concerned....annoyingly enough, you might have to do some low impact business. I.E. Yoga, pilates, blah blah blah....no more heavy squats/deadlifts for you. :-(

Cardio shouldn't be a problem....swimming/cycling suit your fancy?
Here, I thought I was indestructable!

I could do more cycling for sure..... Love to swim if I had access to water.

But yeah....I like cardio and getting my heart rate up.

There's been a one machine at the gym that I've been intimidated by. Can't remember what its called...but the first time I tried it, I thought I was gonna fall over!! (laugh) Maybe I'll give it a shot again - just not 100% next time.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:48 AM   #7
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Never heard of this before Jandy... hope you can keep the symptoms under control and it not progress.
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