What is the Prognosis of Hydromyelia

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jul 01, 2011

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Quick Bites

  • Hydromyelia is a rare neurological disorder.
  • It may resolve on its own without any medical intervention.
  • Surgery may permanently or temporarily relieve its symptoms.
  • But, severe complications are associated with surgery.


Hydromyelia, also known as syringomyelia, is a rare neurological disorder where the person develops a fluid-filled cavity called syrinx in the spinal cord. This syrinx is usually formed in the neck region. It often enlarges and distends over time, damaging the nerve fibres that supply to different parts of the body, thereby causing a variety of symptoms.

How can we Diagnose Hydromyelia?

Diagnosis is based on:

  • Complete patient history
  • Physical examination
  • Blood test to detect any infection or inflammation.
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
  • CT-scan (Computed Tomography)
  • X-Ray

Prognosis of Hydromyelia

How can Hydromyelia be Treated?

Hydromyelia interferes with daily activities. The main aim of treatment is to restore the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid and to avoid neurological problems. In most of the cases of syringomyelia, surgery is found to be viable procedure.

Surgery for Hydromyelia is used:

  • To correct abnormalities of brain structures (Chairi malformation)
  • Drain the syrinx, using shunts if necessary.
  • Remove the obstruction and restore the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid.

The patient needs follow-up care as Hydromyelia may recur. Hence, periodic check-up and examinations are necessary. Painkillers may be used to treat mild pain. Physical therapy may be advised in some cases.

Care is necessary to avoid activities that cause strain in the spinal cord and worsen the symptoms.

What is the Prognosis of Hydromyelia?

Surgery may permanently or temporarily relieve symptoms, but it can also cause a number of severe complications. In some cases, hydromyelia may resolve on its own without any medical intervention.

The exact cause of syringomyelia is unclear; however it is believed to be caused due to the obstruction in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow. Affected individuals develop symptoms slowly over the time.

Image Courtesy: Getty

Read more articles on Hydromyelia.


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