What is Syringomyelia?
Syringomyelia (sear-IN-go-my-EEL-ya) (SM)– A chronic, progressive neurological condition where a fluid-filled cyst, known as a syrinx, develops inside the spinal cord, stretching the cord & damaging nerve tissue, destroying the center of the spinal cord. What are the different forms of SM? Generally, there are two forms of SM. The disorder may be related to a congenital abnormality of the brain called Arnold Chiari malformation. A syrinx may then develop in the cervical region of the spinal cord; this is referred to as communicating syringomyelia. Some people with this form of the disorder also have hydrocephalus (water on the brain), a condition in which CSF accumulates in the skull, or arachnoiditis, in which a covering of the spinal cord is inflamed. The second major form of SM occurs as a complication of trauma, meningitis, hemorrhage or tumor. Here, the cyst or syrinx develops in a segment of the spinal cord damaged by one or more of these conditions. The syrinx may start to expand; this is sometimes referred to as noncommunicating syringomyelia. http://www.syringo.org/