Syringomyelia is a rare disorder that causes a cyst to form in your spinal cord. This cyst, called a syrinx, gets bigger and longer over time, destroying part of the spinal cord. Damage to the spinal cord from the syrinx can cause symptoms such as
Symptoms vary according to the size and location of the syrinx. They often begin in adulthood.
Syringomyelia usually results from a skull abnormality called a Chiari I malformation. A tumor, meningitis or physical trauma can also cause it. Surgery is the main treatment for the disorder. Some people also need to have the syrinx drained.
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
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|Date last updated: 04 September 2008
Topic last reviewed: 14 May 2008