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Chiari Malformation Questions!

Good evening,

I was in a wreck on June 15th. Someone hit me from behind going 70 mph when I was at a stand still. My head hit the steering wheel and my air bags did not deploy. I was sent to the hospital in am ambulance because I lost feeling in my left side which is my dominant side.
At the ER I had CT and Xrays of my neck and shoulder and was sent home in a neck brace. I had a sprained neck and part of my cervical lordosis was straightened out (its supposed to be curved). My pain only got worse since then and I now experience tingling and numbness in my hands and feet, legs and arms, severe neck and headaches (lower back part of head only), I'm constantly dizzy. Often time my hands and feet feel hurt so bad that I cannot even pick up a fork to eat. My back pain and neck and head are so very painful. I was experiencing memory loss but it was said to be from the concussion.
My PCP was concerned about the memory loss and pain so I got sent for my fifth imaging testing which was an MRI of my head and there is no damage to my memory part of my brain but they found that I had 6.5 mm of my cerebellum wedged into my spinal canal which is when I was diagnoses with Chiari Type I.
My PCP referred me to a Neurosurgeon, to discuss Chiari and possible surgery. Now this Neurosurgeon is sending me to a Neurologist to get a Cervical MRI and to make sure the Chiari Malformation is what is behind me and to see if the surgery will help me.

I'm am so over being in so much pain. I cannot sleep with or without a pillow, I had to hold onto my husband this past weekend numerous times because I was so dizzy, my arms and legs, feet and hands so numb and tingle strong pain.


I am not sure if i have a syrinx, and wasnt told I had fluid in my spine so I was just writing to vent and see if anyone has under gone surgery with similar symptons?

My PCP said I was born with this, but he thinks the impact of my accident made my condition known and may have made the Malformation worse. He immediate referred me out because he does not specialize in Neuro/Chiari and is very concerned about my health.

Thoughts? Any input is welcomed. I'm 24, have never been hospitalized or sick really up until this accident everything has gone downhill. I cannot sit, stand, lay down or be still for ten minutes before my symptoms progress. I would rather have surgery then feel like this everyday..

Thankfully my job is very much aware of my health and have backed me on whatever I choose. They are concerned of my well-being.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
I’m sorry you had to go through that trauma. It deff sounds to me like the accident triggered your chiari symptoms. It’s a proven fact that can and does happen

I have a similar situation, but I was decompressed for 2 years prior to a semi truck overturning in my lane and totaling my car. It was a miracle my daughter and myself walked away. But I suffered a concussion and whiplash and herniated a few discs.

My best advise is to find a true chiari specialist to guide you through the testing process. As miserable as you are currently, it can only get worse if you choose the wrong dr.
I can attest to that.

I’m currently awaiting a September appt with a new chiari specialist to see If chiari is causing my dizziness, headaches, numbness and such or if it’s the high ICP wreaking havoc

I wish you luck and hope you find answers and relief
620923 tn?1452915648
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

First until you have a Chiari specialist review your MRI it is possible you do not have Chiari but have low lying tonsils due to the head trauma ....too many Drs use the length of herniation to DX Chiari when Chiari is a malformation of the skull. Until you know you have the malformation you might want to consider you have acquired Chiari or low lying tonsils.....Now that doesn't mean you don't have the same pain and symptoms because you will....and it does not mean you do not have Chiari.....I am only saying wait until you have someone well informed and experienced to know for sure.

Loss of cervical lordosis is very painful and the result of whiplash.

As for surgery, it does not rid of us  the symptoms....it is not a fix, only a means to slow progression and restore CSF flow....you were in an accident and had a neck trauma....have that treated by a Chiari specialist as well or get a referral to someone by a Chiari specialist....you need them to understand ow Chiari affects us and how to best treat you.Many feel wore post op....so do not look to surgery as a cure or fix for how you feel.

I had whiplash too, and I know how you are feeling and it is not the same as typical Chiari symptoms.....the lordosis issue is one that needs to be addressed before you consider surgery for Chiari....as it will continue to cause you the misery you are currently in.

Now I am sure you are not happy with my post, but I do not like to give misinformation or sugar coat things.....make sure you have Chiari and treat the whiplash first....and go from there.....once you begin to heal from the accident you will begin to feel better.
3 Comments
All responses are welcomed! I appreciate your reply.. The neurologist  I saw yesterday seemed more informed of Chiari than the Neurosurgeon. He wanted to see the results of my cervical MRI before moving forward. He said it may be Chiari or neck/spinal issues. They are concern with the tingling, dizzyness, and the fact that I am experiencing so much pain 2 months (almost) after my accident. Their other concern is that is has progressed. It started in one leg, and has worked its way to both arms, legs, and hands and feet.
as well as the neck and lower bottom of my head pain
I had much of the same issues when I had the whiplash.....one thing I kept telling Drs for years after the accident I was in was something is not right and I would put my hand on the spot at the base of my head and  say it indents here and it never did before and it really hurts....that was due to the loss of cervical lordosis....it had turned almost completely the other way, the Dr that finally DX'd me when I was in an walk in clinic for the flu said it looked like I was kicked by a horse....that's how bad it got and can get....I hurt all over.....my muscles were so tight....

I hope this Dr treats the whiplash first for you.
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