Chiari Malformation Diagnosis and Treatment
Some Chiari malformations don’t cause symptoms, and therefore don’t require treatment. However, others cause a wide range of symptoms. The Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare team of experts works with specialists to diagnose the condition in your child.
Next, we partner closely with you to find the best treatment plan. Because Chiari malformation affects each child differently, we offer a wide range of tests, treatments and services for affected children, teens and adults. We start with a review of your child’s medical history. Some of the tests we might use to diagnose Chiari malformation include an MRI scan of the brain and/or CT scan.
Treatments for Chiari malformation include:
Pain-relieving or anti-inflammatory medicines can help manage symptoms such as frequent headaches and pain.
Our pediatric neurosurgeons work closely with you to decide whether your child could benefit from surgery.
The Chiari malformation surgery (also known as posterior fossa decompression) increases space for the cerebellum and brain stem. This procedure relieves pressure on the brain and lets cerebrospinal fluid flow normally. If your child also has hydrocephalus—especially in combination with spina bifida and Type II Chiari malformation—shunt surgery might be required before Chiari decompression.