A diagnosis of symptomatic Chiari malformation and syringomyelia may require surgical treatment. The usual surgery for Chiari malformation with or without syringomyelia is called a posterior fossa decompression (PFD). The surgery seeks to create more space in the back compartment of the skull to restore the flow of cerebrospinal fluid.
PFD involves removal of bone at the base of the skull and sometimes the upper cervical vertebrae as well as any constrictive ligaments or soft tissue. The dura, a protective layer enclosing the brain and spinal cord, is left intact. This surgery can be done alone, or with the addition of something called a duraplasty (PFDD), which involves opening that dura and sewing in a small patch to create more space.
There are positives and negatives to performing a PFD or a PFDD. It’s still not understood which option is better, however. This study seeks to help answer this question… and patients and families are the key!
There are different risks and benefits to performing either a PFD or a PFDD. It’s still not understood which option is better, however. This study seeks to help answer this question… and patients and families are the key!
This is a multi-centered randomized control trial (RCT) studying the effectiveness of these two types of Chiari and syringomyelia surgeries. An RCT puts people in two different groups and researchers see how each group does. An RCT is a type of research study that allows for the absolute best statistics that can prove, once and for all, which surgery is better — or if neither is better!
CSF are thrilled to offer the patient voice directly to the researchers working on this RCT. We host regular meetings with the project leaders in association with CSF Chapter meetings to provide education to families and offer frequent updates on the trial’s progress. CSF is also happy to develop and provide instructional videos and materials to better explain the study to families and patients who may be involved. The patient voice is heard throughout the process and is an important driving force in this patient-centered study.
Have any questions? Talk to your neurosurgeon, or contact us and we will put you in touch with someone who can answer your questions about this study.