Advanced Chiari care and research

Colorado Chiari Institute

HealthONE's Colorado Chiari Institute (CCI) at The Medical Center of Aurora, part of the Swedish Neuro Network, provides high-quality, compassionate care for patients with CM-1 and other rare neurological disorders. Our team is committed to maintaining a strong relationship with our patients. We do this through ongoing research and innovation with clinical studies and educational activities.

Chiari malformation treatment in Aurora, Colorado

Chiari-1 malformation (CM-1) is a relatively common, non-life-threatening condition in which the brain extends out from the base of the skull, along the spinal cord. HealthONE's expert neurosurgeons treat this condition as well as other rare neurological disorders (such as syringomyelia, non-Chiari syringomyelia and tethered spinal cord). Throughout your treatment, our experienced and compassionate team will help you find relief for symptoms and issues caused by CM-1.

For more information about HealthONE's Chiari malformation services, call (303) 695-2663.

Symptoms of a Chiari malformation

CM-1 is also known as congenital Chiari malformation because it is present at birth. Despite this, most patients are diagnosed with CM-1 as adults in their 20s and 30s. Their symptoms typically appear slightly at first and progress over time. Some patients may first develop symptoms after mild or moderate trauma, such as an injury to the back of their head.

Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty concentrating or finding words
  • Difficulty swallowing or hoarseness
  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor balance
  • Trouble walking
  • Vision impairment

Treatment options for CM-1

When CM-1 symptoms are mild, they can usually be relieved with medications, relaxation techniques or other non-surgical treatments. If symptoms do not respond to these types of treatment, surgery may be an option.

Surgery for a Chiari malformation

We treat Chiari malformation with a procedure known as "posterior fossa decompression." It is the most common surgery used to treat CM-1. It involves removing small parts of the skull bones. This relieves crowding between the posterior fossa (bottom of the skull) and upper cervical spinal canal.

HealthOne Swedish Neuro Network

Swedish Medical Center is a national leader in the area of neurosciences. Featuring clinical depth and a team of experts, combined with unparalleled outcomes, Swedish has become the gold standard in stroke, neurology and neurosurgical care.

The Swedish Neuro Network leverages the quality and capabilities of Swedish with stroke/neuro care at five other HealthONE acute care hospitals for the benefit of patients throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Services are available at: