Syringomyelia is a disorder in which a fluid-filled cyst (called a syrinx) forms within the spinal cord. Over time, the syrinx can get bigger and can damage the spinal cord and compress and injure the nerve fibers that carry information to the brain and from the brain to the rest of the body.
Is a syrinx serious?
In some people, syringomyelia can progress and lead to serious complications. Others have no symptoms. Possible complications as a syrinx enlarges or if it damages nerves within your spinal cord include: An abnormal curve of your spine (scoliosis)
How do you treat a syrinx?
If syringomyelia is causing signs and symptoms that interfere with your life, or if signs and symptoms rapidly worsen, your doctor will likely recommend surgery. The goal of surgery is to remove the pressure the syrinx places on your spinal cord and to restore the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid.
Does a syrinx require surgery?
If a syrinx is not causing problems, monitoring the cyst may be all that is necessary. However, surgery may be recommended if you are having symptoms. The goal of surgery is to remove the pressure the syrinx is placing on the spinal cord and restore the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid.
What does syrinx pain feel like?
Syringomyelia is usually slowly progressive, but rapid onset can occur. Common symptoms include pain in the neck and shoulders. Pain may also affect the arms and hands and may be described as a burning, tingling or piercing sensation.
When does a syrinx require surgery?
Surgery is usually recommended for individuals with symptomatic or progressive syringomyelia. There are two general forms of treatment: restoration of normal CSF flow around the spinal cord, and direct drainage of the syrinx. The type of treatment depends on what is causing the symptoms.
Can a syrinx cause paralysis?
As it stretches it may damage the gray matter in the spinal cord and cause pain, loss of sensation, and loss of muscle bulk. Damage to the white matter causes stiﬀness and poor muscle control. Left untreated, a syrinx may eventually lead to paralysis.
Does a syrinx go away?
Untreated, syrinxes tend to expand over time, though some remain stable or even disappear. Unfortunately, it is not always clear which course a syrinx will follow. Syringomyelia is also known as hydromyelia.
What is the average size of a syrinx?
The syrinx cavity varied in length from one to 17 vertebral segments. The average known length was seven to eight vertebral segments.
Who treats a syrinx?
The first step after diagnosis is finding a neurosurgeon who is experienced in the treatment of syringomyelia. Surgery is the only viable treatment for the condition, and a neurosurgeon is the only specialist qualified to provide a fully informed recommendation.
How common is a syrinx?
(See also Overview of Spinal Cord Disorders.) Syrinxes are rare. In about half of the people who have a syrinx, it is present at birth, and then for poorly understood reasons, it enlarges during the teen or young adult years.
Is syringomyelia a terminal?
Terminal syringomyelia is common in cases of occult spinal dysraphism, but the natural history and management remain unclear. Progression, regression, or persistence of terminal syringeal cavity can occur whether untethering is performed or not.