Care for Chiari malformation in Aurora, Colorado

Colorado Chiari Institute

A Chiari malformation is a condition present at birth that occurs when brain tissue extends into the spinal canal. This impacts the cerebellum, the area of the brain that controls balance.

At the Colorado Chiari Institute (CCI), recognized as a Best Hospital by U.S. News & World Report, our team provides high-quality, compassionate care for patients with Chiari-1 malformation (CM-1) and other related disorders.

Call our team at (303) 695-2663 to learn more.

Our team is committed to maintaining a strong relationship with patients and the care team. We do this through research and innovation with clinical studies and educational activities.

Symptoms of Chiari malformation

While present at birth, CM-1 usually causes symptoms later in life. Often, symptoms can be slight and progress over time. Symptoms can show up at any time, but most patients are diagnosed in their 20’s and 30’s. Some patients may develop symptoms after mild or moderate trauma, such as a blow to the back of their head. Other symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Vision impairment
  • Poor balance
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty swallowing or hoarseness
  • Trouble walking
  • Difficulty concentrating or finding words

Treatment options

When CM-1 symptoms are mild, they usually can be relieved with medications, relaxation or other non-surgical treatments. If the symptoms do not respond to this form of treatment, surgery becomes an option. Posterior fossa decompression, the most common surgery, relieves crowding at the bottom of the posterior fossa and upper cervical spinal canal.