Wednesday, August 15, 2012
We have some definitive news and action! I saw a neurosurgeon last month to have my neck evaluated and see if there was anything that needed to be done. He looked at my MRI from 2009 and saw a Chiari Malformation. This is a condition in which brain tissue protrudes into your spinal canal. It occurs when part of your skull is abnormally small or misshapen, pressing on your brain and forcing it downward.
He did a repeat MRI and confirmed that I had the Chiari Malformation, but also saw that a herniated disk I have in my neck is worse and requires ACDF (Anterior Cervical Diskectomy and Fusion) surgery. The neck problem could be causing some of my symptoms and is a less invasive surgery than the chiari repair. He will do the neck surgery and then reevaluate my symptoms after a 6 week recovery process. If I still have symptoms, he can do the chiari repair too.
They don't do a chiari repair just based on scans. It is a collection of symptoms, scans, the doctor, and the patient's decision. It's hard for him to recommend the chiari repair without seeing what the ACDF surgery on my neck will do. So, it makes sense for him to do the less invasive surgery to fix an obvious problem first.
This ACDF surgery should help my neck feel better and any relief will be a blessing. If it takes care of any other symptoms, that would be great too! I have scheduled the surgery for the first week of October and I'm looking forward to it!