Syringomyelia : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment

 What is Syringomyelia?

Syringomyelia is a chronic condition that can lead to severe disability depending on the amount and location of fluid surrounding the spinal cord This debilitating disorder affects people of all ages and occurs in roughly 1 out of every 200 people There is no cure for syringomyelia; however symptoms can be managed with pain medication physical therapy and lifestyle changes such as weight loss or changing your sleeping position.

Syringomyelia is a rare disorder in which a fluid-filled cyst forms within your spinal cord. This cyst is referred to as a syrinx and the fluid making up the cyst is called cerebrospinal fluid, also referred to as CSF fluid.

What is Syringomyelia?

Syringomyelia may be a rare disorder within which a fluid-filled cyst forms at intervals your medulla spinalis. This cyst is mentioned as a syrinx and therefore the fluid creating up the cyst is termed spinal fluid, additionally mentioned as CSF fluid.

As the syrinx expands and elongates over time, it compresses and damages a part of your medulla spinalis because the syrinx expands and elongates over time, it compresses and damages a part of your medulla spinalis from its center outward.

Damage to the medulla spinalis caused by a syrinx will result in symptoms like progressive pain, stiffness, and weakness in the:

  • back

  • shoulders

  • arms

  • legs

People with the disorder would possibly lose the flexibility to feel cold and pain commonly. Some folks with this disorder won’t have any symptoms and won't like treatment. For others, syringomyelia can cause symptoms and complications that worsen because the syrinx expands.

Treatment aims to alleviate the pressure on your funiculus. The treatment your doctor suggests for you may depend upon the explanation for your syringomyelia. Follow-up care once surgery is vital as a result of syringomyelia will reoccur.

  1. Musculoskeletal system

Medical terms

  • Syringomyelia (sih-ring-go-my-E-lee-uh) is the development of a fluid-filled cyst (syrinx) among your neural structure. Over time, the cyst will enlarge, damaging your neural structure and inflicting pain, weakness and stiffness, among alternative symptoms.

  • Syringomyelia has many attainable causes, although the bulk of cases square measure related to a condition during which brain tissue protrudes into your epithelial duct (Chiari malformation).

  • Other causes of syringomyelia embrace neural structure tumors, neural structure injuries and harm caused by inflammation around your neural structure.

  • If syringomyelia does not cause issues, observation of the condition may be all that is necessary. however if you are daunted by symptoms, you may like surgery.

Treatment Symptoms of syringomyelia include problems with concentration headaches and pain A syrinx can form due to a birth defect or from an injury to the spinal cord Doctors believe that syringomyelia can cause pain and pressure on any nerve within the spinal canal so symptoms vary widely depending on where in the spine the syrinx is located Symptoms of syringomyelia may be similar to those caused by a herniated disc Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) or multiple sclerosis

: Facts and Symptoms Syringomyelia (SM) is a disorder of the central spinal cord It is also known as syrinx This disorder may develop at birth or it can develop later in childhood or adulthood In general syringomyelia causes symptoms that result from damage to the spinal cord and its nerve roots due to abnormal CSF flow patterns within the central nervous system (CNS) Although many people with this condition experience mild to severe pain some do not experience pain at all The disorder may cause one-sided weakness of an arm or leg paralysis of a limb degeneration of muscles and loss

Symptoms Syringomyelia

Syringomyelia causes a good sort of neuropathic symptoms, because of injury to the medulla spinalis. Patients could experience severe chronic pain, abnormal sensations and loss of sensation, notably within the hands. Some patients expertise dysfunction or palsy, briefly or for good. A syrinx may cause disruptions within the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, resulting in abnormal blood heat or sweating, internal organ management problems, or different issues. If the syrinx is in a higher place within the medulla spinalis or touching the brain stem, as in syringobulbia, vocal fold dysfunction, ipsilateral tongue wasting, nervus trigeminus sensory loss, and different signs is also a gift. Rarely, bladder stones will occur at the onset of weakness within the lower extremities. Classically, syringomyelia spares the dorsal column/medial sensory nerve of the medulla spinalis, exploiting pressure, vibration, bit and interoception intact within the higher extremities. Neuropathic arthropathy, additionally referred to as a brain doctor joint, can occur, notably within the shoulders, in patients with syringomyelia. The loss of sensory fibers to the joint is theorized to steer to degeneration of the joint over time.

Syringomyelia symptoms sometimes develop slowly over time. If your syringomyelia is caused by protrusion of brain tissue into your epithelial duct (Chiari malformation), symptoms usually begin between ages twenty five and forty.

In some cases, coughing or straining will trigger symptoms of syringomyelia, though neither causes syringomyelia.

Signs and symptoms of syringomyelia, which could have an effect on your back, shoulders, arms or legs, will include:

  • Muscle weakness and wasting (atrophy)

  • Loss of reflexes

  • Loss of sensitivity to pain and temperature

  • Headaches

  • Stiffness in your back, shoulders, arms and legs

  • Pain in your neck, arms and back

  • Spinal curvature (scoliosis)

When to see a doctor

If you've got any of the signs or symptoms related to syringomyelia, see your doctor.

If you've had a funiculus injury, await signs and symptoms of syringomyelia. Months to years will pass when associate degree injury before syringomyelia develops. ensure your doctor is aware that you had a funiculus injury.

Causes Syringomyelia

Generally, their square measures 2 types of syringomyelia: innate and bought. Syringomyelia is mostly a chronic disorder that happens over time, leading to muscular atrophy. non heritable Syringomyelia is caused by a heavy physical trauma to the body like in an exceedingly road traffic accident. Syringomyelia can even be classified into communication and noncommunicating forms. communication usually happens thanks to lesions on the hiatus and noncommunicating occurring thanks to alternative neural structure diseases.

It's unclear however and why syringomyelia happens. Once it develops, liquid body substance — the fluid that surrounds, cushions and protects your brain and neural structure — collects among the neural structure itself, forming a fluid-filled cyst (syrinx).

Several conditions and diseases will cause syringomyelia, including:

  • Chiari malformation, a condition in which brain tissue protrudes into your spinal canal

  • Meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain and spinal cord

  • Spinal cord tumor, which can interfere with the normal circulation of cerebrospinal fluid

  • Conditions present at birth, such as a tethered spinal cord, a condition caused when tissue attached to your spinal cord limits its movement

  • Spinal cord injury, which can cause symptoms months or years later

How long can you live with syringomyelia?

Syringomyelia also known as SM is a serious degenerative condition of the spine It results in fluid-filled cavities or cysts found within the spinal cord When these cysts expand and push against the spinal cord it can cause problems with motor function pain and even paralysis Generally speaking syringomyelia is incurable and progressive in nature Therefore it is important to work with your doctor to implement treatments that help reduce pain and improve quality of life.

What should you not do with syringomyelia?

Symptoms of syringomyelia include arm or leg weakness abnormal sensations pain or a burning feeling in the arms and legs and altered sensation of touch Patients may also complain about difficulty sleeping and frequent numbness in their hands As the condition worsens and /or spreads to other areas of the body symptoms may include muscle wasting in the face/neck reduced coordination loss of bladder control and loss of bowel control In cases where syringomyelia is caused by multiple sclerosis (MS) there can be changes to mobility MS sufferers with advanced syringomyelia may lose the ability to walk or bear weight.

The root cause of syringomyelia is - Degeneration or degeneration disorder Syringomyelia (SM) is a term for the abnormal formation of a fluid-filled cavity called syrinx inside part of the spinal cord This abnormal cavity usually forms in the area of the spine where the spinal cord exits from its bony protection and contains the brain's chemicals that regulate body functions such as sensation balance and movement.

What does syringomyelia feel like?

Syringomyelia is a disease of the spinal cord which causes severe pain and loss of feeling The resulting pressure on the spinal cord can cause weakness in both legs or even paralysis if left untreated Symptoms often begin around age 40 and they sometimes run in families Depending on where you are experiencing pain syringomyelia can feel like anything from a tightness or tingling to intense burning or stabbing sensations throughout your body.

Complications Syringomyelia

In some people, syringomyelia can progress and lead to serious complications. Others have no symptoms.

Possible complications as a syrinx enlarges or if it damages nerves within your spinal cord include:

  • An abnormal curve of your spine (scoliosis)

  • Chronic pain as a result of spinal cord damage to the spinal cord

  • Motor difficulties, such as weakness and stiffness in your leg muscles that can affect your walking

  • Paralysis

Diagnosis Syringomyelia

If your doctor suspects you've got syringomyelia, you will be observed by a specialist, a specialist in treating the system.

To diagnose your condition, your specialist can initially take your complete medical record. A whole physical examination also will be performed. Be ready to inform your specialist regarding your symptoms and the way long you’ve had them.

If your specialist thinks you will have syringomyelia, they’ll order an Associate in Nursing magnetic resonance imaging scan to appear for a syrinx in your medulla spinalis. Associate in Nursing magnetic resonance imaging scan is taken into account to be the foremost reliable diagnostic tool for syringomyelia.

If your magnetic resonance imaging isn't showing signs of syringomyelia, your doctor could order further tests, victimization radiography or a CT scan. A CT scan might facilitate rummage around for different spinal abnormalities.

Your doctor can raise your medical record and do a whole physical examination. In some cases, syringomyelia may be discovered incidentally throughout a spine magnetic resonance imaging or CT scan conducted for different reasons.

If your doctor suspects syringomyelia, you will likely endure tests such as:

  • MRI. An imaging of your spine and neural structure is the most reliable tool for identifying syringomyelia.
    An imaging uses radio waves and a powerful field of force to provide careful pictures of your spine and neural structure. If a syrinx has developed at intervals in your neural structure, your doctor is going to be ready to read it on the imaging.
    In some cases, a specialist can inject a dye into a vessel in your groin, that travels through blood vessels to your spine and divulges tumors or alternative abnormalities.
    You might have perennial imaging scans over time to watch the progression of syringomyelia. 

  • CT scan. A CT scan uses a series of X-rays to create a detailed view of your spine and spinal cord. It can reveal tumors or other spine conditions.

Treatment Syringomyelia

Treatment depends on the progression of the disorder and whether or not you’re experiencing symptoms that disrupt your life. If you have got no symptoms or delicate symptoms, you'll not want treatment. Your brain doctor can monitor the progression of the disorder.

If your symptoms are a unit negatively touching your life, your brain doctor might suggest medications like gabapentin (Neurontin) which can facilitate decrease the somatic sensation within the shoulders and arms that often occur with syringomyelia.

Treatment for syringomyelia depends on the severity and progression of your signs and symptoms.


If syringomyelia isn't causing signs or symptoms, monitoring with periodic MRI and neurological exams might be all you need.


If syringomyelia is inflicting signs and symptoms that interfere along with your life, or if signs and symptoms apace worsen, your doctor can seemingly advocate surgery.

The goal of surgery is to get rid of the pressure the syrinx places on your neural structure and to revive the conventional flow of humor. This will facilitate improvement of your symptoms and systema nervosum operate. The kind of surgery you will need depends on the reason for syringomyelia.

To reduce pressure on your brain and neural structure, surgery choices include:

  • Treating Chiari malformation. If syringomyelia is caused by Chiari malformation, surgery may involve removing a little section of bone at the rear of your os. This surgery will cut back pressure on your brain and funiculus, restore the traditional flow of bodily fluid, and may improve or resolve syringomyelia. 

  • Draining the syrinx. Your doctor can surgically insert a system, referred to as a shunt. It consists of a versatile tube that keeps fluid from the syrinx flowing within the desired direction. One finish of the tube is placed within the syrinx, and also the alternative is placed in another space of your body like your abdomen. 

  • Removing the obstruction. If something within your spinal cord, such as a tumor or a bony growth, is hindering the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, surgically removing the obstruction might restore the flow and allow fluid to drain from the syrinx.

  • Correcting the abnormality. If a spinal abnormality is clogging the flow of bodily fluid, surgery to correct it, like emotional a bound medulla spinalis, may restore fluid flow and permit the syrinx to empty.
    Surgery does not perpetually restore the flow of bodily fluid, and therefore the syrinx may stay, despite efforts to empty the fluid from it. 

Follow-up care

Syringomyelia will recur once surgery. you'll have regular examinations together with your doctor, as well as periodic MRIs, to assess the end result of surgery.

The syrinx will grow over time, requiring further treatment. Even once treatment, some signs and symptoms of syringomyelia will stay, as a syrinx will cause permanent neural structure and nerve injury. 

Lifestyle and home remedies

The following steps might help reduce the effects of syringomyelia.

Avoid activities that can make symptoms worse

Avoid activity that involves heavy lifting, straining or putting force on your spine.

Consider physical therapy

If syringomyelia causes neurological issues that decrease your quality and activity, like muscle weakness, pain, fatigue or stiffness, a physiotherapist can be ready to produce an associated exercise program for you which will facilitate the scale back of these symptoms.

Talk to your doctor regarding physical therapists in your space United Nations agency who have experience in neurologic conditions.

Manage chronic pain

If you have got chronic pain from your syringomyelia, seek advice from your doctor regarding treatment choices. Several medical centers have doctors. The World Health Organization focuses on pain management.

Coping and support

Living with syringomyelia and its complications will be difficult. Having somebody to speak with, whether or not a follower, counselor or healer, will be valuable. otherwise you may notice the support and encouragement you wish in an exceedingly syringomyelia support cluster.

Ask your doctor to advocate a neighborhood cluster or hunt for teams on-line. Support teams give a forum for sharing experiences and might be sensible sources of knowledge, providing helpful or useful tips for individuals with syringomyelia.

  1. Healthy foods for the musculoskeletal system
  2. Rehabilitation program and health tips for the musculoskeletal system

Preparing for your appointment

You're seemingly to begin by seeing your general practitioner or your doctor may refer you to a doctor trained in brain and system conditions (neurologist).

Here's some data to assist you make preparations for your appointment.

What you can do

When you create the appointment, raise if there is something you wish to try and do earlier, like limit your diet. If you have got past medical reports, imaging scans or CT scans that may relate to your drawback, bring them to your appointment.

Take a loved one or friend to your appointment, if attainable, to assist you keep in mind the knowledge you will be given.

Make a listing of:

  • Your symptoms and when they began

  • Key personal information, including spinal or back surgeries or injuries you've had and family history of syringomyelia

  • All medications, vitamins or other supplements you take, including doses

  • Questions to ask your doctor.

For syringomyelia, questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?

  • Are there other possible causes?

  • Is it possible my symptoms will get better on their own?

  • What tests do I need?

  • What is the best course of action?

  • Can exercise help?

  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?

  • Are there brochures or other printed material I may have? What websites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, including:

  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?

  • How severe are your symptoms?

  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?

  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?

What you can do in the meantime

Avoid doing anything that worsens your symptoms. For many people with syringomyelia, heavy lifting and straining can trigger symptoms, so avoid these activities. Also, avoid flexing your neck.

General summary

  1. If syringomyelia is diagnosed early and if the spinal cord is not too badly damaged then it may be possible to relieve symptoms without surgery by using medication and physical therapy If these fail to provide relief or if damage to the spinal cord was severe surgery may be necessary The success of surgical intervention depends on how early treatment begins and the progression of a patient's condition at the time of surgery Surgery does have some risks involved because it involves operating on and possibly even removing parts of the spinal cord.

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