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About Colorado Chiari Institute

About Colorado Chiari Institute

Colorado Chiari Institute (CCI) at The Medical Center of Aurora is the only center of its kind in the region. CCI combines the art and science of medicine to diagnose and treat those suffering from the Chiari I malformation, syringomyelia and related conditions. We offer medical expertise and advanced technology for the singular focus of treating these particular neurological disorders. Our team concentrates on educating not only patients, but also their families about these less common neurologic diseases.

At CCI, Dr. John Oró, neurosurgeon and Chiari specialist, and his team expertly handle all aspects of care from evaluation and diagnosis, to treatment and follow-up. The CCI team closely consults with referring physicians throughout the course of treatment to ensure that the patient received appropriate follow up from their primary care physician or neurologist.

We encourage our patients to be active participants in their care and treatment planning. Our goal is to provide the highest quality multidisciplinary care to help heal body and mind.

Step 1 - Documentation Packet

Patients may be referred to CCI by a neurologist or primary care physician if there is MRI evidence of Chiari.

If you have been diagnosed with Chiari, we require the following documentation before we can consider further screening of your neurological symptoms.

  1. A radiology (x-ray) report within the past 6 months that shows a Chiari malformation
    • This can be an MRI of the brain or cervical (neck) spine that shows a Chiari malformation
  2. A completed referral request from your primary care/family physician or Neurologist
  3. Laboratory tests
    • C Reactive Protein (CRP-Cardiac)
    • Hemaglobin A1C (HbA1c)
    • Vitamin D (vitamin d 25-hydroxy)

Please fax the completed documentation packet to our Chiari Nurse at 303-695-2665 or e-mail to After all of the documents are received, the Chiari Nurse will call you to discuss next steps.

Step 2 - Nurse Practitioner Screening

If you qualify for further Chiari screening, the Chiari Nurse will schedule an appointment for you to be seen by our Nurse Practitioner at The Medical Center of Aurora for a wellness evaluation. Additional diagnostics will be ordered if needed.

Step 3 - Neurologist Evaluation

If you have a neurologist, our Chiari Nurse will help schedule a visit at their office.

If you do not have a neurologist, our Chiari Nurse will help schedule an appointment with one of our neurologists in the Chiari network. Additional diagnostics will be ordered if needed.

Step 4 - Case Conference

If Chiari I malformation is confirmed, Dr. Oró will discuss the various treatment options available. If necessary, neurosurgical decompression and reconstruction can be performed to reshape the opening at the base of the skull, thereby relieving pressure on the protruding brain tissue. Research results show 84 percent of patients experience significant improvement in their symptoms one year after surgery. 

Not everyone with Chiari will need to have surgery. Conservative treatments will be considered, including medications to help manage your symptoms, dietary recommendations, and lifestyle changes.