MRI... any insight?



Hello everyone, I am so happy to have found this site! I was just recently diagnosed with Chiari Malformation on Oct. 24th from a CT scan. This past week I had my first MRI(brain only). I will post a couple images... I know we are just giving opinions but any insight would be greatly appreciated... I am just so new to all of this.

Thank-you Mandy! I think I figured out how to crop :)

Thanks so much for the heads up on info Mandy, I am not great with computers lol. The MRI was taken laying down just this week, I did have both with and without contrast but these 3 images are the clearest I could find :/ I know I have some pics like the other you have on your page... I will look for one. Unfortunately I am not doing well at all, daily severe headaches, horrible feeling of pressure in my head and eyes and a constant feeling of being off balance... like I am on a rocking boat. I am hoping to get an opinion from a Chiari NS soon.

Mandy said:

Perfect! I see some herniation, and maybe a bit of a retroflexed odontoid. Was this taken laying down? It's definitely crowded in there.

If you look at my page, I have some photos posted. There are two more views which are really helpful, coronal (which is front/back) and axial (I think??) which is top looking down. Did you have contrast? If so, contrast pictures seem to have higher definition.

Something funny, when I went to check my pics for comparison, I noticed a couple of my MRIs had my DOB on them. LOL.

How are you feeling?

Thank-you Mandy! I have actually been hearing a lot about Dr. Heffez and I am only 20 minutes from the Chiari Center of WI. I will look into all that you have mentioned. I really am so appreciative for your suggestions and imput... I feel a bit clueless at the moment and this definitely gives me a starting point.
Mandy said:

I'm so sorry, it sounds like your symptoms are pretty severe :(

There are a few neurosurgeons in your area which have been recommended by our members. Dr. Dan Heffez in Milwaukee is nationally known, and is probably in the top ten for the nation in number of procedures. Dr. Iskandar in Madison has a couple of recommendations by members, although I'm not sure if he is pediatric only.

I know it can be really difficult to read on the computer with our symptoms, but if you get a chance, the Understanding Chiari tab at the top of the page can be really helpful.

It's possible your symptoms are being caused by co-existing conditions which are common in Chiari. Two of the biggest ones to consider at this point are Intracranial Hypertension and Sleep Apnea. Both can be manageable with treatment, and once managed, can really REALLY improve your quality of life.

From personal experience, managing my sleep apnea improved things for me. My pain levels and migraine frequency decreased significantly.

I am choosing to hold off on surgery at this point, but my symptoms are manageable, and my pain is usually below a 3. On my "pain days" it's around a 6. Migraines are infrequent at this point, and manageable with excedrin migraine.

Okay, I won't bombard you with too much info, I feel so bad for your poor head :(