I am a surgery candidate though I only have 3,5 mm herniation that is b/c I have a diminished/blocked CSF flow. But I do have a syrinx too.
They do however want to treat me first with Diamox to see if that helps the headaches if not they offer me the surgery.
So for me the criteria is diminished/blocked CSF flow, I do believe that they look into your symptoms as well and if they are causing irreversible damages.
Hi...it all depends if u r talking to a chiari specialist or just a NS....
A Chiari specialist will look for a CSF obstruction, a syrinx, over crowding and ur symptoms, how ur chiari is affecting ur overall health.
Other NS's only look to see if the length of the herniation is 5mm or longer b4 they consider surgery.Some will when more severe symptoms are present....but for the most part they look at the mm's of herniation which is not the best criteria for chiari as many of us know it is not the size, but the width and if it is causing a blockage,.
If u have Chiari and there is no obstruction and ur symptoms are controllable ie- u have HA's and occasional stiff neck...they will suggest to monitor, as surgery could in fact leave u worse off....
If u can function and this is not affecting ur overall health try ur best to go as long as possible b4 u have surgery.
But, make sure u seek advice from a well experienced chiari specialist.
I really don't think that they do look at the width. Something that they need to look into. As for me mine was 5 to 6 mm, but it doesn't matter about the size. It was the quality of life. I didn't have it. I couldn't do any thing without suffering with pressure headaches. So I quess the question is on the surgery canidate. How is it affecting your life. Having surgery isn't a cure. It does help, but it is something you don't go into lightly. It is a long healing process. Something I am finding out right now. So it is a personal decision. Like I said I don't regret having the surgery. I couldn't live life the way I was and the surgery helped with the pressure head aches. with surgery there are other issues you have to deal with and risk involved, so make sure you have a doctor you can trust, and you have seeked all other alteratives. I wish you the best in your decision.
Thanks for the information! I couldn't sleep last night because I couldn't find a position that would give me relief from the building pressure. It is times like this that I wonder if I can continue like this. I have been given Diamox but was unable to tolerate the meds. I am just trying to gather information about the surgery so that I can go into the doctor's appointment informed, thanks!
u may want to read a few of the journals the members post about their surgery...just go to their profile page by clicking on their name....if it is not available to u, u may want to ask them to be ur friend in order to see it.
This may help u understand what all is involved pre and post op.
Excellent suggestion! Thanks Selma!