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Neck problems mimic Chiari?

Hi everyone and thanks for any help you can give me.  I have a long story and I will try to summarize why I am posting in this group.

Over the last 10+ years I have had neurological type problems starting with tingling in my face, migraines, dizziness (not vertigo) and progressing to loss of feeling in my left foot, swallowing problems, back of head pressure, nausea, feeling like I may pass out if I turn my head a certain way, and almost constant tingling in my tongue that is causing me to have issues talking (feeling like I am lisping).

I have been seeing an MS neuro for 8+ years with multiple MRI's which only show 1 lesion that has never changed.  I specifically asked about Chiari and was shown on the scan that I do not have it.  

I am very concerned about my swallowing and tongue symptoms.  My swallowing issue began suddenly and started with food and drink going up the back of my sinuses.  I had lots of tests by ENT and neuro and ruled out pretty much everything there can be including bad things like ALS.  On my swallowing study you can see the stuff going up a bit before going down.  I have adjusted the way I swallow and I can no longer eat things like yogurt.  It has never gotten worse, but never gone away either.

My tongue has had the tingly/numb feeling in the past on and off but it is almost constant now and I am worried about my speech.  I still have ALS come in my head once in a while, but it's been over 3 years since the swallowing issue started and an ALS specialist said I do not have it.

Moving on, I am posting here because I am wondering if the fact that I have bulging cervical discs, stenoisis and an osteophyte in my neck, all of which are causing some compression of the spinal cord with signal changes could be causing a lot of my problems.  It has been shown numerous times on my MRI but no one seems to pay it any mind.   I have read a lot of symptoms with Chiari that seem similar to mine and I am thinking that the spinal fluid flow is being impacted as if I did have Chiari.

Anyhow, any thoughts on this idea?  I have another MRI on Saturday and I will directly as my neuro about it at my appointment next week.  Thanks for reading.
1 Responses
620923 tn?1452915648
Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.
May I ask, were your MRI's of the brain and or cervical spine? ANd were they reviewed by a true Chiari specialist? Also, if you had a truma lower in your back or spine it can cause a syrinx to form and block CSF flow...so you would need a MRI of the thoracic and lumbar spine too.
The reason I ask, is because many Drs even neurosurgeons will not classify a DX of Chiari unless there is a herniation of 5mm's or more....Chiari is not the herniation but the malformation of the skull....and is typically a congenital condition.....low lying tonsils can be caused by blunt force trauma to the head or neck area and cause the same if not similar symptoms.....so a MVA or any trauma can cause something similar....
Do you have copies of your MRI's? When was your last MRI?
I was told by a NS that my symptoms were due to bulging disks and not Chiari.....when I got to a Chiari specialist they did DX me with Chiari and I had surgery....all my "disk" symptoms" are gone or better since surgery for Chiari.....so I do not put much stock in a Dr unless they are a true Chiari specialistn
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