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Chiari Malformation and c7 issues

Hi ..I am a 53 year old mom of three girls and 5 grandbabies. I was diagnosed in 2008 with Chiari Malformation after 28 years of being told i had migraines. I had brain decompression in feb of 2009. I still have alot of issues...neck pain....bad pressure headaches, glossopharangeal nerve pain (horrid), IBS, vertigo , awful feeling when looking up. Numbness in my lips and fingertips...the lsit goes on.....lately i have been having a lot of trouble swallowing ...not all the time mind you...but when it happens it is very painful and feels like it is stuck in my chest....it will go eventually.....i also have crunching and grinding popping in my neck area. My doc sent me for a barium swallow and called me in to say my c7 vertibra is pushing (prominent) against my esophagus. He said unless the pain got worse or happening more there is nothing you can do....eventually may have to have surgery to make room....i am very condensed with the chiari back there anyway....should i worry?


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    edited 02/07/2014 - 4:27 AM
    Welcome to Spine-Health and how to get started

    What type of Chiari do you have? I, II or III ?

    It would very helpful if you read our FAQ, which is pointed to by the above Welcome link

    There is a set amount of statements that you should be providing us in order for the member community who may have some experience , respond to your thread.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • CeeLeeCCeeLee Posts: 5
    edited 02/07/2014 - 7:04 AM
    Thank you for replying. I have Chiari 1. no srynx. I am on 75mg to 100mg of elavil at bedtime to ward off nerve pain, but i personally dont think it helps. no pain medication other than advil etc. which does nothing. I have not seen a neurologist in about 2 years as he thought all my symptoms were from a clavical bypass i had in 2006. So i wont go back to him. i have no plan for pain...just deal with it as it comes. now i have this c7 issue....which i wondered related to the glossenpharangeal episodes i have taken....sorry if i am not still in the right forum...
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    edited 02/07/2014 - 9:00 AM
    You are in the correct forum.

    Since I havent seen your condition mentioned here in quite some time, I am not sure how long it will be for people with better understanding of it will post.

    But when it comes to cervical disc, you should really be seeing a spine specialist to help identify your problem and hopefully outline some plans.

    Doctor(s) need to give you all the pro's and con's

    • - Doing nothing
      - Having surgery, but what kind?
      - Treating Chiar 1, not sure if its the same for II and III to remove bone to reduce overall cranial pressure
      - Chances of this moving to Spina Bifida?
      - etc
    Regarding your current symptoms

    • - What has been your most successful means of managing your headaches?
      - You also seem to have nausea from time to time
        + Are you taking anything for that? (ie zofran) + How frequent is your nauseousness?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I am learning about Chiari here ..

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I know Chiari is quite the thing. Verrrry complex....as it affects the central nervous system. I live in Prince Edward Island Canada, the smallest province so resources for Chiari are nil. I only get the nausea if i have the pressure headaches...the shooting nerve headaches are awful i need morphine drip for those....the pressure ones are usually treated with anti inflammatory but take a ver very long time to work. I am not on anything other than the elavil. I only take advil for pain.....dont work....my doc doesn't seem worried at all about the c7 pushing on my spine. said it is livable right now. easy for him....i think chiari 11 is compared to spina bifeda...where there is fusion...i joked and said i am chiari 1.3..he just laughed....so i dont know what else to do...my decompression surgery is taking out the bottem part of the skull where the brain herniates...and took the top vertabra..very invasive surgery...
  • Is it prominently noticeable on a MRI?

    Meaning if a dr. was looking at your c-spine would it be very apparent it is chiari?

    Can it be easily overlooked?
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