Advanced Chiari care and research
HealthONE's Colorado Chiari Institute (CCI) at The Medical Center of Aurora is ranked as a Best Hospital by U.S. News & World Report. This is a recognition of our high-quality, compassionate care for patients with CM-1 and other rare neurological disorders. We received this ranking, in part, because 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.
- Difficulty concentrating or finding words
- Difficulty swallowing or hoarseness
- 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.