Chiari Online Support Group

Anyone had surgery with drop 6mm or less?



Just wanted to know if anyone has had or been offered the surgery with a drop of 6mm or less.
I have 3mm drop but horric symptoms, Morphine for years, no CSF block/restruction and surgery criteria is 6mm. So would like to know if anyone has had or been offered surgery under the criteria I’ve been given.



I have been offered surgery, and my herniation is 3 mm. My doctor said the length is no longer the determining factor, but the physical exam, symptoms and other imaging. He did a few from the MRI, which looks from the head down to the neck, and that clearly shows a blockage. He was my third opinion. Check the website of the doctor/ hospital carefully to see, how they define Chiari.

Hang in there - it stinks that there is a potential treatment to help, but it is withheld due to older criteria.


I can’t speak for the civilian side since i am military and had my surgery done through the military. But mine was 6mm on one side and 7mm on the other side with severe side effects and i practically had to beg and get second opinions in order to get the procedure. I would seek a second opinion!


Also, see if you can get a vertical MRI. My horizontal MRIs don’t show the real herniation I have, that I deal with when standing.


Hi I had a 5mm herniation and have had surgery twice. The first was emergency surgery as had near total csf blockage and reduced blood flow to my brain. Plus horrid symptoms. Xx


Dear Paz…, YES! I had decompression surgery with only 1mm. And, my neurosurgeon said that the length of the herniation makes no difference in the severity of symptoms. He told me that one patient of his had an inch-long herniation, but barely had any symptoms at all; a little tingling in the fingers. Meanwhile, another patient had 1mm - like me - and came in close to total paralysis in a wheelchair. My symptoms were also extremely severe - and had I not had the decompression surgery within 6 more months, I’m sure I would have died. My entire cardiovascular system was fritzing-out - and it was getting worse and worse. Not something to mess with!