Children with chiari malformation have an abnormality in their brain. The part of the brain that is affected is known as the cerebellum. This area is responsible for motor control, balance and muscle tone. The cerebellum is located in the lower part of the brain. Think of it as the area right behind your upper ear.
There are different types of chiri malformation. Most kids who are
affected have tonsillar herniation. This is also known as Arnold-Chiari
malformation. You may also see it referred to as tonsillar ectopia. In
this condition, the cerebellar tonsils are herniated, or hang down into
the spinal canal.
Since the cerebellar tonsils are in the wrong
position, they can cause several symptoms. Children may have headaches
throughout the day. Sometimes, when a child coughs or sneezes, the pain
is made worse. Young people may also experience dizziness, problems with their eyesight and muscle weakness.
the pain and other symptoms are mild a pediatrician may just recommend
conservative management of the condition. However in some cases, surgery
is necessary. Surgeons may do a procedure known as a posterior fossa
decompression. This creates more space in the skull for children with
Arnold chiari type 1 malformation.