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Anyone here have a "syrinx" ????

wahelawwahela Posts: 10
Hello everyone. I have been trying to research what appears to be a RARE occurance and so far am not having much luck gaining much insight into this "syrinx" problem I have now been diagnosed with. I am SOOO hoping someone here on the boards will have dealt with a syrinx and might share their journey with me.
I recently had an MRI series done on my thoracic spine which revealed a severe disk herniation with major deflection into the spinal cord at the T7-T8 level. Another disk bulge at T5-T6 with some mild deformity of the cord. But the frightening part (as if the above listed problems aren't ! ha ha!) I have a disk bulge at T11-T12 and a prominent central canal from T11 through L1 with a bulging area they are calling "early syrinx development." So far the online research I have been doing says this occurance is extremely rare, but doesn't detail what the diagnosis means or how it might be treated.

Anyone out here on the boards have some help/info to share with me? I am MOST grateful!


  • Contact Neck of Steel aka Cindy. She also has a syrinx and can give you some help in understanding what it means to live with.


  • I too have a syrinx, and I agree there isn't a lot of information out there.

    When I was first diagnosed with having a syrinx, the physician told me that it could be something serious or something that isn't a big deal at all, and she then referred me to a surgeon to discuss it further.

    Apparently some people are born with a syrinx, and the only reason it is determined to be there is that the person has an MRI for spine issues and it is discovered. From what I have read, those types of syrinxes are typically stable and will often cause no problems.

    Mine is small but growing longer. Fortunately it isn't getting bigger around, just longer. Has your doctor said if your symptoms are coming from the syrinx or if they are coming from your other issues?

    My doctor showed me pictures of another person with a syrinx that basically runs from the base of her skull down into her thoracic spine, and appears to take up the whole diameter of the cordin many spots. Of course he didn't tell me a name, but he wanted me to see the pictures. That particular patient is still running marathons, and although she has a few symptoms, the surgery to treat the syrinx would probably do more harm than good in her situation. I think by showing me those films, he was trying to convince me that it is better to leave mine alone than to go in and drain it at this time. I don't need convincing of that--the surgery to drain a syrinx means they have to penetrate your cord to get to the syrinx inside it.

    I'm telling you all this to show that a syrinx isn't always a bad thing. Mine contributes to my problems, but there really isn't much to be done at this point.

    I would suggest that you have your doctor explain how significant your syrinx is, and if he thinks it is contributing to your problems or if it is just something that needs to be watched. I have had MRIs every 6 months for 4 years now and they monitor it pretty closely.

    Do you have specific questions about a syrinx?
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I appreciate you both commenting back. Cindy, I have only recently found out that I have this new "syrinx" development following an MRI done on my thoracic spine area. The radiologists' report states that the spinal canal area between T11 and down to L1 is widened and at the end of that area is a syrinx. This new development has popped up in just one year. I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon in July so I am trying to get some information about this problem so I can better be prepared with questions for the surgeon. I am also dealing with severe disc bulges at T5-6-7 that are pressing on the spinal cord. Also have a disc bulge at T10 that isn't pressing on the spinal cord yet. I have several "issues" going on in all levels of my spine due to DDD and scoliosis that just showed up this past year as well! oh goody!! ~X( I am not sure which of these thoracic areas may be the culprit or if the syrinx area is the problem. I guess time will tell along with a good review from the neurosurgeon.

    THANK YOU for reassuring me that these things can be more easily dealt with than what I was running through my mind! Bless you both for your kind responses.
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