What is it?

Syringomyelia is a cyst filled with fluid in the spinal cord, which may grow bigger and damage the spinal cord. It may be caused due to Chiari malformation, spinal cord tumors, injuries and inflammation of the spinal cords. Syringobulbia also refers to a syrinx that involves the brain stem and affects one or more cranial nerves. It is a slowly progressive disorder, usually present after syringomyelia. The reason for this disorder is not known and it is usually congenital.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of syringomyelia may include muscle weakness, loss of reflexes, loss of sensitivity to pain and temperature, headaches, stiffness of the back, arms and legs, neck and back pain, and scoliosis. Syringobulbia symptoms include dizziness, nystagmus, loss of feeling of temperature and pain in the face, tongue fibrillation, shrill or harsh voice, impaired vision, numbness and gait instability.


Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination. Further evaluation may include CT scan or MRI of the spinal cord.


Treatment of syringomyelia depends on the severity and progression of the symptoms and may range from only monitoring to surgery for treating chiari malformation, draining the syrinx, removing the obstruction or correcting abnormality. Syringobulbia treatment is surgical.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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