1434024 tn?1329812840

Connection between Spondylolisthesis & Chiari Malformation?

I recently described in my last post about some strange click/tap/pop sound along with some pain in the lower, left area of my skull. (read most recent post before this to understand)

I only got one reply of advice/opinion, mentioning Arnold Chiari Malformation.. So I decided to look it up to do some research on it... I read many different articles which all sort of stated similar facts: symptoms, causes, treatment, etc...

For causes, I read Quote "It can be caused by structural defects in the brain and spinal cord that occur during fetal development, whether caused by genetic mutations or lack of proper vitamins or nutrients in the maternal diet." Unquote..
Quote "It can also be caused later in life if spinal fluid is drained excessively from the lumbar or thoracic areas of the spine either due to injury, exposure to harmful substances, or infection.

What I'm wondering, is about the 2nd "quote", 'due to injury' - what kind of injuries? And 'exposure to harmful substances' - as in drugs? chemicals? both?

I know I should be asking a doctor, but I can't afford to right now... I'm just seeking advice, opinions (professional or personal), or any information, URLs, etc.. that can give me some information..

Thank you for taking the time to read this & reply.
6 Responses
1546631 tn?1321643204
Hello :-) I was diagnosed a year ago with Chiari 1 malformation.  They found it initially on a CT after my second fall down the stairs, when I got a pretty bad concussion. What they told me was, I probably had it for a long time (history of migraines and syncopal episodes off and on since age 4) but that the concussion probably "accelerated" it. I've heard different reports on injury vs. Non injury, and I'm not clear on all of it, but that's what happened to me. Hope it helps some :-)
620923 tn?1452915648

  Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

  U mentioned  2 quotes, and the  asked about the 2nd.....[What I'm wondering, is about the 2nd "quote", 'due to injury' - what kind of injuries? And 'exposure to harmful substances' - as in drugs? chemicals? both? ]

A blunt force trauma to the head from a MVA , a fall  can cause enuff pressure to force the cerebral tonsils down onto the brain stem and the resulting symptoms will be similar to those if the skull was malformed, nething that causes an obstruction of CSF flow will cause the symptoms.

As for the chemical, they may refer to meds that could cause ICP....

And if the malformation was congenital, a MVA or injury will trigger symptoms to flare....

  Chiari symptoms do cycle, but many factors  can change the cycle  and severity of symptoms....many reports state that this may happen later in life, but they do not consider the symptoms that cycled for yrs b4.

  I hope this helps

620923 tn?1452915648

  I also wanted to mention, u may hear all kinds of sounds related to moving ur neck, it has been  associated with CSF obstructed flow, and bones clicking .....but, for those with chiari it is pretty typical.

  So nothing to get too worried about....first, find a true chiari specialist to help guide u.

1434024 tn?1329812840
thank you for your information n taking time to respond and read my responses...

when i questioned the  - fluid being drained from the lumbar or thoracic areas if the spine 'due to injury', i was wondering if it could only be caused 'later in life due to a CERTAIN kind of injury' as in a certain spot, because it says 'lumbar and thoracic areas of spine' ..

also, i recently posted to the Chiari forum i believe, and in that post i tried as hard as i can to describe the 'clicking' sound. i also stated that i did not like using the words clicking or popping to describe it because its not really any of those, i cant explain what it is..

the hear the sound as i feel what kind of feels like someone poked me in the back of my skull and its an uncomfortable feeling, like as if someone took a slingshot with a penny, quarter, dime, w/e metal coin, aimed it at the back of my lower left skull, and it hits me..., its NOT in my neck or when i move my neck or bones... it happened a few times when tryin to take a deep breath thru my nose while it was kind of stuffy due to cold or me being upset/crying, and it happened while i was drinking some water... i dont want to ramble on again, but if you want you can go and TRY to read my 'description'..

again, thank u for taking the time to read my posts and responding, i really appreciate it... and sry again if my tryin to describe or explain what im experiencing doesnt make any sense at all.. lol
620923 tn?1452915648

  This is the Chiari forum, I know u posted in the neuro forum as well....and I think the popping or clicking could be tight muscles and y u feel it.

I used to get that sensation as well, and know what u mean and popping and clicking is the best way to say it even tho it is not a true pop....lol....

As for the fluid in the thoracic or lumbar area being drained...well I think it may be void of fluid not drained and that could be if there is an obstruction not allowing it to flow...this can cause a syrinx to form....so u do need a Chiari specialist to take a look at u and ur MRI's

1179332 tn?1297478990

That's what I was going to suggest too... that it might be at the area of your skull where the neck muscle joins. I get a very acute spot of pain right there and it feels like it is burning and a very small targeted area.

To go back to your question of damage causing Chiari to worsen, my NS said sometimes it can be as simple as having a change to your cervical area like some osteoporosis and/or disc trouble. When I had my first MRI there was osteoporosis in my C5-7 level. Also, like mentioned, concussions, vehicle accidents especially with whiplash....all can cause your brain to slump down further. For myself I sincerely believe that going hard core with my running and step classes really did it in for me. It was that constant thumping that caused the pressure to increase and the symptoms to worsen. All that time I had no idea that I was literally thumping my brain against my skull!!

I hope you are finding the answers to all your questions...I will add that one thing I have had to learn to deal with regarding Chiari is that weird, painful, scary things happen to me all the time, there is no real reason why and I have just had to learn to live with it and know that I will be ok.

Take care
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