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Chiari malformation

Chiari malformation is a congenital abnormality that causes the cerebellum to push into the space occupied by the spinal cord. In serious cases, symptoms may require treatment to reduce the pressure this causes on the spinal cord.

Chiari malformation type 1 treatment in Denver

Here, you can find relief for symptoms and issues caused by Chiari malformations.

Chiari malformation type I (sometimes called type 1, Chiari-1 malformation or just CM-1) is a relatively common condition that is not life-threatening. Neurology specialists at The Medical Center of Aurora work closely with you to determine whether surgical or nonsurgical treatment is the right option for your optimal recovery.

Expert advice, available 24/7

Free medical advice is just a phone call away. Our nurses help you understand your symptoms, treatment options and procedures. They will also help you find a provider or specialist and schedule an appointment.

Free medical advice is just a phone call away. Our nurses help you understand your symptoms, treatment options and procedures. They will also help you find a provider or specialist and schedule an appointment.

Related specialties

Learn more about our related specialties.

Symptoms of a Chiari-1 malformation

Chiari-1 malformation is considered congenital because it is present at birth. Despite this, most diagnoses occur in your twenties and thirties, when symptoms are more prominent. How CM-1 ultimately affects you may differ, but what remains the same is that symptoms typically appear slight at first and progress over time. You may even develop symptoms after mild or moderate trauma, such as an injury to the back of the head. Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty finding words
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Headache
  • Hoarseness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor balance
  • Trouble walking
  • Vision impairment

Services we provide for Chiari-1 malformation

No matter your personal experience with CM-1, we are here for you.

Advanced Chiari care and research

The Colorado Chiari Institute (CCI) provides high-quality, compassionate care for Chiari malformation and other rare neurological disorders, such as syringomyelia, non-Chiari syringomyelia and tethered spinal cord. Our team is committed to maintaining a strong relationship with you through ongoing research and innovation with clinical studies and educational activities, as well as Chiari-1 malformation surgery.


Chiari malformation treatment without surgery

When CM-1 symptoms are mild, we can typically provide effective treatment without surgery, giving you relief with medications, relaxation techniques or other nonsurgical treatments. If symptoms do not respond to these types of treatment, surgery may be an option.


Surgery for a Chiari malformation

If surgery is necessary, our CM-1 surgeons will typically employ the use of the posterior fossa decompression surgery, the most common CM-1 procedure. Posterior fossa decompression involves removing small parts of the skull bones, which relieves crowding between the posterior fossa (bottom of the skull) and upper cervical spinal canal.

Our Chiari malformation Locations

Currently Viewing:

The Medical Center of Aurora
1501 S Potomac St
Aurora, CO 80012
 (303) 695 - 2600

Currently Viewing:

The Medical Center of Aurora
1501 S Potomac St
Aurora, CO 80012
 (303) 695 - 2600
Colorado Chiari Institute
1400 South Potomac Street
Suite 210
Aurora, CO 80012
 (303) 695 - 2663

0.1 miles