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Spine and Back Health

Ruptured Syrnix

01/08/2010

Question:

I have a 10yr old who has a syrnix from t2 to t10. In the past 6 months it has ruptured. I am not sure what the result of this is. Could you please give me more information? She is being monitored by a neurologist and neurosurgeon. It just seams like we are waiting for her to get worse before we can slow this disease down.

Answer:

Hello, thank you for your question. I'm not sure exactly what you are referring to by "rupture". This is not normally something a syrinx does. In most cases, surgical intervention for these problems can be very difficult and risky, and is reserved for cases where the patient is getting progressively worse. It is important that other, possibly treatable, causes for the syrinx have been ruled out. Make sure she has had an MRI of her entire spine with Gadolinium (which is a type of contrast, or dye). This is important to rule out a possible small tumor that could cause a syrinx. Make sure they have ruled out the possibility of something called a "Chiari malformation" (pronounced "key-ah-rhee") as well. If those things have been eliminated, there is usually not much else to do besides careful observation unless the person is developing progressive neurological problems. Many times these syringes (plural of syrinx) just sit there not doing anything, or even occasionally go away. I hope things go well for your daughter. Good luck.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University