Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Chiari Malformation Program


Chiari Malformation Program

Houston Methodist Hospital Neurological Institute Chiari Malformation Program offers expert diagnosis and treatment for patients with Chiari Malformation.

Chiari Malformation is a condition in which a portion of the posterior part of the brain is compressed causing it to protrude into the spinal canal. Patients can present with headaches, weakness, and numbness or may have no symptoms at all.


In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, our doctors utilize the most advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to diagnose and evaluate Chiari Malformation. In addition, patients may undergo a specialized cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow study used to evaluate the flow through the foramen magnum (the opening in the base of your skull through which the spinal cord passes).


If indicated, your surgeon will perform a posterior fossa decompression. During this procedure a small portion of bone is removed from the back of the skull to make room for the brainstem and reestablish normal CSF flow. In some cases, a Chiari Malformation may not need treatment but the patient will be closely followed by the team.