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Syringomyelia

How Is Syringomyelia Treated?

Treatment options depend on several factors, including:

 
  • Presence and severity of symptoms
  • Form of syringomyelia.
     
In the absence of syringomyelia symptoms, the condition is usually not treated. During this period of "watchful waiting," patients are regularly monitored with an MRI and physical exam.
 
In addition, a physician may recommend not treating the condition in patients of advanced age or in cases where there is no progression of symptoms. Whether treated or not, many patients are told to avoid activities that involve straining.
 
For patients with symptoms, the syringomyelia treatment of choice is surgery.
 
(Click Syringomyelia Treatment to learn more about treating this condition.)
 

Prognosis for Syringomyelia

Many factors will determine how quickly or slowly the disease progresses and, therefore, the prognosis for syringomyelia.
 
Some people have no symptoms and a fairly stable syrinx. Others may have symptoms that worsen with straining or with any activity that causes cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure to fluctuate. Others may have long periods of stability. For some, syringomyelia may progress rapidly.
 
For people with syringomyelia symptoms, surgery may result in stabilization or modest improvement in symptoms. For these patients, delay in syringomyelia treatment may result in irreversible spinal cord injury. Recurrence of syringomyelia after surgery may make additional operations necessary. However, these may not be completely successful in the long term.
 
Because of the variability of syringomyelia progression and, therefore, the prognosis, it is best to talk with a doctor experienced in treating syringomyelia.
 
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About Syringomyelia

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