Anna. Arnold Chiari I Syndrome. Cord Traction Syndrome.

Published by at 4 June, 2013

Surgery date: January 2012


My name is Anna, I live in Moscow (Russia). I am 48 years old.

I want to try to briefly tell my story. The first symptoms appeared when I was studying at school, without an apparent cause I started getting headaches and vertigos. After a few check ups at different clinics, no illness was detected. The doctors’ conclusion was: “She is healthy. There is no reason to worry, those symptoms will disappear with growth.”

Time went by, but there were no improvements. With my son’s birth the headaches got even more intense and lasted longer. They wouldn’t always go away with medication. New symptoms started to appear:

-Pain in neck, shoulder, back and the lower part of the lumbar spine

-Feeling of stiffness in the neck


-Diminished vision sharpness


-Breathing difficulties

-Unstable gait

I underwent different tests for a long period of time, and as a result I was given different diagnoses. They indicated treatment and physiotherapy. The x-ray images (MRI did not exist yet) showed spinal ostheochondrosis. Physical exercise is prescribed as a treatment in these cases. Over the following years I practiced a lot of yoga, aerobics, swimming, but the physical efforts only made my state worse. And it was only in October 2011 after new MRI tests that I was diagnosed with Arnold Chiari I Syndrome. It turned out that this disease had not been researched very much. I was suggested to remain in medical observation and, in case of a progression of the disease, to have a neurosurgical procedure to decompress the posterior fossa.

After looking for information on the Internet regarding the ambiguous outcomes of the suggested procedure I felt desperation: I had a diagnosis, but no solution – the state of my health would remain the same, with constant pain and without hope for a fulfilled life.

The only way was to keep on searching for a solution in medicine for the treatment of this complicated disease.

In October 2011 I found information about the Institute Chair, Syringomyelia and Scoliosis of Barcelona online. I immediately sent and email to Barcelona and received the reply, which I was very happy about. For the first time, the cause of the disease was explained to me. The Cord Traction Syndrome is triggered by a tight filum terminale. There were no doubts left that the sectioning of the filum terminale surgery suggested by the Institut was my only opportunity for recovery.

On 17 January 2012 Dr. Royo Salvador operated me. The benevolent atmosphere at the clinic, the doctors’ competence and attention, the quality of medical exam the day before the surgery, gave me reassured me completely if making the correct decision.

The surgery passed without pain, I immediately felt the changes in my state, that continue up to today.

Seventeen months have passed since the surgery at the Institut Chair in Barcelona, I am better every day, the biggest part of the symptoms described above have almost disappeared, I have no more headaches. New colours came into my life, I am leaving a fulfilled life. Before the surgery I had gait problems, it was difficult to walk more than 500 metres. I can now take walks of up to seven km, I practice yoga and i work. The world is wonderful when you feel healthy and strong!

I read in the testimonial on the Institut’s website that the disease can be hereditary. My son would sometimes complain about backaches and fatigue. The check up MRI confirmed a Arnold Chiari I Syndrome diagnosis and in February 2013 he was operated by Dr. Royo.  The improvements started to show immediately after the surgery: energy appeared, the backaches became less.

Many thanks to the Institut Chiari, Syringomyelia, Scoliosis of Barcelona team – they are professionals in their work. Dr. Royo gave life back not only to me but also to my son, I am so very grateful to him!

Email: [email protected]

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