Colorado Chiari Malformation Surgery

Colorado Chiari Institute (CCI), at The Medical Center of Aurora, is the only center of its kind in the nation. CCI combines the art and science of medicine to diagnose and treat those suffering from Chiari I Malformation (CM-I) (pronounced kee-ar'-ee), Syringomyelia, Non-Chiari Syringomyelia and Tethered Spinal Cord. The Institute is dedicated to the evaluation, care and treatment of patients that have been diagnosed with Chiari I Malformation and related conditions. Our team offers medical expertise and advanced technology, and we concentrate on educating not only patients, but also their families, about these rare neurological disorders.

At Colorado Chiari Institute in Aurora, Colorado, Dr. John Oró, Neurosurgeon and Chiari specialist, and his team, expertly handle all aspects of care from evaluation and diagnosis, to treatment. The CCI team closely consults with referring physicians throughout the course of treatment to ensure that the patient receives appropriate follow-up after their Chiari decompression surgery, or other plan of treatment. 

Colorado Chiari Institute is located at the foot of the majestic Rocky Mountains, just minutes from Denver International Airport. 

We encourage our patients to be active participants in their care and treatment planning. Our goal is to provide the highest quality care to help heal body and mind, throughout your journey with Chiari Malformation.

Contact us:
1400 South Potomac Street, Suite 210
Aurora, CO 80012

Phone: 303-695-2663

Fax: 303-695-2665

Chiari I Malformation Treatment

For some patients, a Chiari diagnosis is the missing puzzle piece after years of struggling with headaches, dizziness, pain and other symptoms. 

The first step in the diagnostic process is a thorough neurological evaluation by neurosurgeon Dr. John Oró and nurse practitioner Kimberly Sexton. The evaluation assesses cognitive and cerebellar function, reflexes, sensory and motor skill and cranial nerve function. 

If not already complete, labs and imaging studies will be performed to create an anatomical picture of the brain and spinal cord. These imaging studies may include MRI or CINE MRI flow analysis.

If Chiari 1 malformation is confirmed, Dr. Oró will discuss the various treatment options available. If necessary, Chiari decompression surgery and reconstruction can be performed to reshape the opening at the base of the skill, 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 the symptoms, dietary recommendations, and lifestyle changes.

Patient may be referred to CCI by a Neurologist, Primary Care Physician or Neurosurgeon, if there is evidence of Chiari on the MRI report. 

Please note that Colorado Chiari Institute does not treat children younger than 14 years of age.

For patients under the age of 14, please refer to these sites:

Recurring Chiari Malformation Symptoms

The Colorado Chiari Institute evaluates patients with persistent symptoms following previous Chiari surgeries. We have identified seven major reasons why Chiari surgeries may fail. This helps us in evaluating each patients' condition and in creating an individualized plan of care.

Non-Chiari Syringomyelia
& Tethered Spinal Cord

Colorado Chiari Institute also evaluates patients with Non-Chiari Syringomyelia. Examples include Syringomyelia after trauma, Syringomyelia due to membranes or scarring, and Syringomyelia of unknown causes. We also evaluate patients suspected of having a tethered spinal cord. 

Click here to learn more about the referral process and how to schedule a visit with Dr. Oró.