Division of Neurosurgery   
Phone: 217-545-8000
FAX: 217-545-0253 
Email: neurosurgery@siumed.edu 
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Chiari Malformation 

Chiari malformations in adults occur when there is a lack of space for the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls balance and coordination.  When the space at the bottom back of the skull is smaller than it should be, the cerebellum and the brainstem may be pushed downward. The pressure on the cerebellum can block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and cause an array of symptoms.

To help diagnose Chiari malformation, our experts will ask about your symptoms and conduct a thorough physical
exam, as well as order MRI imaging. The treatment for Chiari malformation depends on the severity of your condition. For people who show symptoms, decompression surgery is often the best option.

The goals of Chiari malformation treatment include:

Surgery to Reduce Pressure

The most common operation for Chiari malformation in adults — called posterior fossa decompression —
involves removing a small section of bone in the back of the skull.

Other treatment options may include:

Shunting — Rarely, we may need to use a shunt to drain the cerebrospinal fluid from the brain to the
abdomen to control the problem in adults.