Thank you for your support in raising the awareness of Syringomyelia, and supporting those living with SM &CM.
Syringomyelia (sear-IN-go-my-EEL-ya); also known as SM, is a Syrinx (also known as a tubular filled cyst) that forms inside of the spinal cord. Unfortunately there are many who are living with this rare, progressive, incurable, disabling neurological condition without knowing it due to the lack of knowledge and lack of testing. By raising public awareness and insisting that professionals/doctors get educated - we are trying to help others. There is much work to be done in order to increase awareness in the medical community as well as with the public, to get the help and reduce the suffering of those with SM, their family and friends.
Two forms of Syringomyelia Acquired or Congenital:
Generally, there are two forms of Syringomyelia: acquired and congenital. One form of the disorder involves a part of the brain called the brainstem. When Syrinxes affect the brainstem, the condition is called Syringobulbia.
Primary symptom of post-traumatic Syringomyelia (often referred to using the abbreviation of PTS) is pain. Symptoms such as pain, numbness, weakness, and disruption in temperature sensation may be limited to one side of the body. Syringomyelia can also adversely affect sweating, sexual function, and, later, bladder and bowel control. A typical cause of PTS would be a CAR ACCIDENT, sports injury, slip and fall or similar trauma involving a WHIP-LASH-INJURY.
So you have Syringomyelia, what to do next?
Surgery is the only viable treatment for SM, but not all patients will advance to the stage where surgery is needed, Syringomyelia can remain stationary for long periods of time and in some cases progress rapidly. In some patients it may also be necessary to drain the syrinx. The decision to use a shunt requires extensive discussion between doctor and patient, as this procedure carries with it greater risk of injury to the spinal cord, infection, blockage, or hemorrhage and may not necessarily work for all patients.
Surgery is not always recommended for Syringomyelia patients. For many patients, the main treatment is pain killers. Physicians specializing in pain management can develop a medication and treatment plan to alleviate pain.