Confused by confusion on whether or not I have a Chiari

Hi, I just discovered this forum. I am looking for some answers, support and advice. About 5 months ago I took a dandy fall and landed on my head. I dislocted my shoulder and wretched my neck. An Mri was done of my shoulder and neck. When the Ortho looked at the MRI and xrays he said that I have a very large Arachnoid cyst and a possible Chiari. I saw one Neurologist who said that yes I do have a large cyst but it looks stable and should not be causing me problems. He said that he was uncertain if I have a Chiari. Referred to a Neuro surgeon who did his own MRI and looked at all old ones. He said yes to the cyst and yes to the Chiari but said that there is good cerebral flow so not causing problems. My issues include severe headaches (recent onset) balance issues, electric zaps to right arm that travel to back of head. Left sided weakness, left foot drop +more. Saw another Neurosurgeon. He said he does not see a Chiari at all and that he does not treat arachnoid cysts unless they are causing neuro problems. I said I am having Neuro problems and he said "Well yes, but they are not related to the cyst " I asked him what was causing them and he said he did not know. It was a very circular conversation. My confusion is over their disagreement on whether I even had a Chiari. I wish I understood what I am looking at but I do not. I've posted a picture. Anybody know what to look for?


Have you looked into getting a second opinion? Looking for a new NS to review your MRI or order new ones?


welcome jhein

I have an arachnoid cyst but in my spine.this is my second one, and for a cyst to be stable is stupid, excuse my tone,

there are three layers around the spinal cord, arachnoid is in the middle layer, now this gets its name from being like a spider it has legs that effects the nerves, im guessing your cyst is in the cervical region. is this putting pressure on your cord? How big is it?

the most effective way of treating a cyst like this is surgery, This type of cyst is painful, and needs the right nerve pain meds to relieve the pain,

Chiari as far some NL/NS are concerned, to have it effecting you, you have to fit a criter, being,, a syrinx, a tethered cord, overcrowding, or fluid blockage, this is in New Zealand, my guess proberly around the world.

We all here disagree,

you need to find a better NS and NL. get a second apinion,

but we are here for you.

if you want to know more about your cyst id be happy to help you


Abby i must say i had to review my MRI pics of brain, after looking at the photo

I have been to two Neuro surgeons and 1 Neurologist. The neurosurgeon from Mayfield Clinic is the one who beleives that I have a slight Chiari but does not believe that it should be causing anything but possibly headache. PCP ortho and Neurologist all think they see a Chiari. Obviously it is not as pronouced as the one in the picture you sent. There are other MRI images that is the one that is on my computer. There is also a thought that due to having Hypermobile Joint syndrome that at time the Chiari could be worse due to a flexible joint (I guess) Lastest neurosurgeon says that I do not have a Chiari at all and that the cyst as I said is stable and not causing trouble. The Cyst is Posterior Fossa and is 4.9cm by 3.8 by 2.7 resting on the brain stem. I need to take a break from doctors soon. I will be seeing a Headache specialist. If that symptome can be treated I caN DEAL with the others.

hi jhein

The posterior cranial fossa is part of the intracranial cavity, located between the foramen magnum and tentorium cerebelli. It contains the brainstem and cerebellum

this cyst is large and in my opinion, it needs to be removed, mine compress my spinal cord and causes problems,

it would be great if you could look at having that removed, being on the brain stem can cause alot of problems,

im angry that docs arnt taking it more seriously,

this might be a stab in the dark, but could the cyst be mistaken for chiari?

I cant stress again how much we are here for you

How are you feeling?


It has been a very bad week. Right at the moment feeling okay. I know the cyst is large. I saw a doctor here in Milwaukee and I saw one in Cincinatti although they disagreed about the Chiari both felt the cyst was stable and should be left alone. I am getting terrible headaches and it is ruling my life. I also have some other issues going on with my health. I have a rash that has a current diagnosis of vasculitis. Spent several days in the hospital and have endured a ridiculous amount of doctors. I have sent my information to a nationally know doctor however even if he decided to take my case I could not afford it.


but he could put his recomentations paper for your docs,

arachnoid cyst needs to be removed, my first one was 4.1cmx1cm, amonth after being found it was removed, but they did tell me that within a yr i would of been paralised.

Could this cyst be a hard basket for your docs you have seen,

im here for you


Boy have been through so much...I can relate to that feeling of getting frustrated over seeing so many doctors....i am glad that you are seeing a H/A specialist....hopefully he/she can help with the H/A's...I had taken Zogran it help..I too went to a specialist for that...actually she is a Neuro -Opthomologist.

Wishing you the best.

Take care,