Chiari Malformation (CM)


Chiari Malformation (CM) is a structural problem with the back of the brain that involves the cerebellum, or the part of your brain that controls balance. Normally, the cerebellum sits in a space at the base of the skull, just above the opening to the spinal canal called the “foramen magnum.” With Chiari malformation, the cerebellum slips down this opening.



This condition usually happens as a fetus develops in the womb. It may be linked to a genetic mutation or to other issues. These can cause problems with the development of the skull and brain. It may also develop later in life if you lose a lot of spinal fluid. This can happen because of an injury or an infection.


Chiari malformation can cause a wide range of symptoms including:

  • Neck Pain
  • Balance & Coordination Issues
  • Vision & Hearing Problems
  • Muscle Weakness and/or Numbness
  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Insomnia

The symptoms depend on the severity of the malformation. In some people, only a small part of the cerebellum pushes down through the hole. That may not cause any symptoms. In severe cases, much more of the brain’s tissue pushes through. In the most severe cases, this causes death.

Expert Treatment for Chiari Malformation in Baton Rouge, LA

Treatment options for CM depend on your needs. If your malformation is mild, medications may help. If your malformation is more severe, your neurosurgeon may recommend surgery.  Trust the region’s best and most experienced team of brain surgeons to expertly evaluate your individual condition and recommend a treatment plan tailored to your needs.