The American Syringomyelia Alliance Project

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Syringomyelia (SM) is a chronic spinal disorder in which the cerebrospinal fluid enters the spinal cord and forms a cavity known as a syrinx. Over time, the syrinx may swell, causing permanent nerve damage which can lead to paralysis. Chiari malformation (CM) is a congenital anomaly in which the brain stem and the cerebellum protrude through the opening at the base of the skull. This results in pressure on the spinal cord, causing extreme pain, loss of coordination and other devastating neurological symptoms. Multiple surgeries are often needed to halt the progression of symptoms.