Chiari Surgery: Expectations & Recovery

Video Poster


JUNE 2019
Neurosurgeon Dr. William Tobler and physical therapist Lisa Cleveland talk about how to best diagnose Chiari malformation.

Importantly, Dr. Tobler discusses the symptoms, etc., but he also explains how the decision to operate is made... and it's not so black-and-white. While he describes what most surgeons look for when assessing when a patient does and does not need surgery, he also admits that there is "not strict agreement amongst surgeons about when you do surgery, and what kind of surgery you might do."

On top of all that, he describes what patients and their families may expect after a Chiari surgery is performed-- you may see resolution of all symptoms, there may be no change, or symptoms may actually progress and get worse.

Dr. Tobler does an excellent job explaining what to expect before, during, and after surgery. But there is an unfortunate amount of grey area in the surgical management of Chiari malformation. Because of that, Ms. Cleveland jumps in to talk about the role of physical therapy in managing symptoms and pain in patients who may or may not have had Chiari surgery.

There is a lot that can be done outside of the operating room that can help patients struggling with Chiari, syringomyelia and related disorders-- it's just important to know what to ask for and how to identify if it is, or isn't working! Thank you to Dr. Tobler, Ms. Cleveland and the entire Mayfield Clinic staff for helping us put together such an excellent lecture on Chiari malformation!

This lecture was presented at the June Bobby Jones CSF Chapter meeting in Cincinnati at the Mayfield Clinic. (2019)

    Revised: 9/2019