Related Chiari Conditions

There are many conditions that are related to Chiari and a vast majority of Chiarians have one or more of these. The reason that it's important to get these ruled out, or at least be tested for them, is because not only can they bring about their own complications but in some instances the symptoms are very similar to that of Chiari. It can be hard to know which condition is causing which symptom. In addition, some things, such as Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, can affect the surgery outcome if you have a decompression. 

This is a short list of some of the related Chiari conditions that your doctor should test you for. 

1. Tethered Cord Syndrome: Symptoms can include leg pain, back pain, urinary incontinence, and sacral dimples. 
2. Connective Tissue Disorder EDS / Marfan / Loeys Dietz etc. 

3. Ehlers Danlos Syndrome: This is a very common related condition and is a connective tissue disorder. It can cause joint pain, extreme flexibility, and in cases of vascular EDS even put strain on internal organs and cause life threatening complications. 
EHlers Danlos National Foundation-

4. Syrinx: A syrinx, or 
Syringomyelia, is the formation of a fluid filled sac on the spinal cord. It is related to Chiari in that oftentimes the lack of flow can cause fluid build-up, although not everyone with Syringomyelia has Chiari and vice versa. Symptoms can include back pain, leg pain, numbness, tingling, difficulty walking, muscle loss, and headaches. It is important that you have a full spinal MRI to test for a syrinx since it can show up anywhere, including the lumbar. 

5. Basiliar Invagination: This is where the second vertebra pushes up, into an area where it is not supposed to be in. Symptoms can include dizziness, pain, numbness in extremities, difficulty swallowing, and headaches. 

6. POTS: 
postural tachycardia syndrome is a condition that is vascular in nature and is also seen in conjunction with Chiari. Essentially, when a person is upright, their heart rate increases and they can suffer from vertigo, dizziness, headaches, and coordination difficulties. 

7. Retroflexed odontoid: see #5

 Scoliosis: a curvature of the spine, scoliosis can cause a lot of pain, balance problems, and coordination issues. 

9. Cranio-cervical instability: In CCI, the neck is not fully supporting the head like it should be. Slippage is caused whenever the head or neck is moved and this can lead to many problems. The symptoms are very similar to those of Chiari and include everything from pain to memory loss. 

10. pseudo tumor cerebri: Like the name implies, pseudo tumor cerebri is a mass that acts like a tumor but isn't one. It often develops post-op, although some Chiarians also have it before their surgery, too. Symptoms can include pain, a feeling of pressure in the head, and vision problems.
Medscape page-


You might also find that, along with Chiari, you also have the following diagnoses:

- Multiple Sclerosis
- Chronic sinusitis
- Fibromylagia
- Stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis 

Just make sure that ALL of the tests have been run so that you are getting these as ADDITIONAL diagnoses and NOT as misdiagnoses. 

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