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Arnold Chiari Malformation

Arnold-Chiari Malformation

Kentucky Medical Malpractice Attorney in Louisville

Arnold-Chiari Malformation is an anatomic abnormality in which the patient’s brain protrudes into the patient's spinal canal. The portion of the brain that protrudes is the lower part of the cerebellum. Often, Arnold-Chiari malformations are discovered at birth. Typically, those Arnold-Chiari Malformations discovered at birth are discovered because of an increase in spinal fluid and pressure within the brain (hydrocephalus).

The two types of Arnold-Chiari Malformations most often discussed are Arnold-Chiari I and Arnold-Chiari II. Arnold-Chiari I often manifests itself with symptoms and becomes progressively more notable in adolescents and young adults. Some symptoms include headache in the rear of the head, dizziness, double-vision and downward eye movements. Arnold-Chiari II malformations are associated with spinal defects and hydrocephalus. Either type of Arnold-Chiari malformation can involve headaches, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, etc.

Surgical Options

Surgical repair is often needed. Additionally, hydrocephalus may be treated by implanting a shunt to relieve the increased intracranial pressure resulting from the ventricles’ inability to properly drain spinal fluid. Proper evaluation of a shunt for patency (clear/good flow) is critical. A blocked or clogged shunt can result in increased intracranial pressure, brain swelling, brain stem herniation and/or death.

Shunt Problems

Parents of children with surgically implanted shunts should be trained to watch for signs and symptoms of shunt problems. Physicians and emergency medical providers need to take these concerns very seriously and properly evaluate a patient with a shunt and concerns of blockage. Failure to properly evaluate a patient with a shunt that is not working properly or certain complaints in patients with Arnold-Chiari Malformations can lead to devastating consequences.

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If you have questions about medical malpractice issues involving Arnold-Chiari Malformations, don’t hesitate to contact the law office of Louisville medical malpractice lawyer Brett H. Oppenheimer, PLLC. We welcome clients from all across Kentucky.

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