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Connect with the Norton Children’sNeurosurgery Team
The board-certified neurosurgical team with Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, is led by Thomas M. Moriarty, M.D., Ph.D., a recognized leader in the field with extensive experience and specialized training. Our physicians have the sophisticated tools and skills to give you and your child a precise diagnosis and a treatment plan for Chiari malformation that minimizes risk, so your child can get back to being a kid again.
Chiari malformation is a defect in the back of the head where the brain and spinal cord meet.
There are four types of Chiari malformation. Type I is the most common and the least severe. Many people have no symptoms until late adolescence or into adulthood. Often, an unexpected diagnosis is made after a person seeks medical attention for an unrelated issue.
The second most common form of Chiari malformation is type II. It is directly associated with spina bifida. It also can be associated with hydrocephalus and scoliosis. Surgery typically is needed to correct the abnormality.
Types III and IV are very serious and rare conditions that often result in severe disabilities or death.
If Chiari malformation is not causing any symptoms, then no treatment is necessary. However, when symptoms are present, surgery typically is the only option. During surgery for Type II, small portions of the skull and neck are removed. Additional steps may be taken, depending on the specific needs of the child.
The neurosurgery team has cared for children with all types of Chiari malformations and is prepared to explain the options for your child’s condition.