April 18, 2011
Before I go any further, I think it's necessary to explain what a Chiari Malformation is. Most people had never heard of it and at the time of my diagnosis most doctors had no clue what it was either. It supposedly is a birth defect although some can be acquired from a severe whip lash. Anyway, mine was congenital. I was born with it. I don't really doubt that, because my cranium is quite small in comparison to other people my size. Apparently the base of the skull does not grow large enough to accommodate the growing brain. The brain then herniates into the spinal canal and causes all kinds of problems. My herniation measured 9mm while lying down. Chiari is a cousin to spina bifida. As research continues so does the scope of this birth defect. There are now many known associated conditions that were not known when I was first diagnosed. Feel free to click on the link to learn more about the condition. Someone you know may have the malformation and not know it.