Syringomyelia

Also known as: SM, congenital syringomyelia with Chiari malformation, Morvan disease

What is syringomyelia?

Syringomyelia is a rare chronic condition where fluid accumulates (syrinx) within the spinal cord. The most common cause of syringomyelia is Chiari malformation. Other conditions that may cause syringomyelia include spinal cord tumors, tethered spinal cord or shunt malfunction. 

What causes syringomyelia? 
The cause/s are unclear. Syringomyelia may be congenital or acquired.Rare cases are familial. Congenital syringomyelia almost always occurs along with a birth defect of the brain known as a Chiari malformation. With this malformation, part of the brain is lower than it should be, which disrupts the flow of spinal fluid and leads to the development of a syrinx. Acquired syringomyelia may occur result from an injury, infection, a tumor or other medical condition.

What are the symptoms of syringomyelia? 
Tingling, numbness, weakness, pain, a loss of sensitivity, a misshapen spinal cord and even paralysis are all potential complications of syringomyelia.

What are syringomyelia care options?
If there are no symptoms, monitoring the condition may be all that is needed. If symptoms occur surgery is typically required to stabilize or improve symptoms and several types of treatment are available.

Upcoming Events

Best Practices in Pediatric Neurorehabilitation Symposium

This one day course will include educational sessions, case studies, and panel discussions that highlight evidence-based information for managing Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other related disabilities for children ages birth to 5.

Learn more and register

Introduction to Conscious Discipline

This workshop is designed to introduce you to a “better way” by providing an overview of Conscious Discipline® created by Dr. Becky Bailey. You will learn basic information about the human brain and about social emotional intelligence in order to have more tools to discipline your children effectively.

Learn more and register

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 4/4/2018 12:57:25 PM

From the Newsdesk

BWS Family Conference
07/20/2018 — This conference is designed to provide individuals with Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS) and their family’s up-to-date information about the possible aspects of BWS and their management.  
Lucas’ Success Story
01/15/2018 — August 15, 2017 was the day my son Lucas was admitted to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital for purposes of treating uncontrollable seizures. After being admitted at a previous children’s hospital on three consecutive occasions and many EEGs later, we were referred to Nicklaus Children’s by a neurologist.