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    In some people, Chiari malformation can become a progressive disorder and lead to serious complications. In others, there may be no associated symptoms, and no intervention is necessary. The complications associated with this condition include:

    • Hydrocephalus. An accumulation of excess fluid within your brain (hydrocephalus) may require placement of a flexible tube (shunt) to divert and drain the cerebrospinal fluid to another area of your body.
    • Spina bifida. Spina bifida, a condition in which your spinal cord or its covering isn't fully developed, may occur in Chiari malformation. Part of the spinal cord is exposed, which can cause serious conditions such as paralysis. People with Chiari malformation type II usually have a form of spina bifida called myelomeningocele.
    • Syringomyelia. Some people with Chiari malformation also develop a condition called syringomyelia, in which a cavity or cyst (syrinx) forms within the spinal column.
    • Tethered cord syndrome. In this condition, your spinal cord attaches to your spine and causes your spinal cord to stretch. This can cause serious nerve and muscle damage in your lower body.
    Aug. 21, 2013

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