Published by ICSEB at 1 February, 2009
Date of surgery: February 2009
Hello, my name is Sandra, I am 11 years old and I come from Mallorca (Balearic Islands). A year ago I was diagnosed with Arnold Chiari I Syndrome. Everything started when I was 2 more or less with headaches.
At first my parents didn´t take it seriously since these didn´t occur very often. After a few months, the headaches started to get more persistent, so my parents mentioned it to the pediatrician whom told them this was caused by a hormone change or a tensional headache. The pediatrician did not think it was too important since these headaches were not very constant, very few on the weekends and either on vacation, so my patents though that these were really tensional ones due to school pressure. My parents started to worry when they noticed that these became present on a daily basis being either on a weekend or on vacation. This is when they insisted for me to have an MRI done to make sure everything was all right. When they got the results, their nightmare started. (I say nightmare, because I was not informed at any moment about my disease, I was told all about it the day before we went to visit Dr. Royo).
The MRI report said, “Chiari type I anomaly” with an important descent of the cerebellar tonsils into the posterior face of the spinal cord at the level of C1 and C2. I think we went to all the neurosurgeons on the island and all said that I had to have a tremendous surgical intervention, which consisted of a decompression at the base of the cranium. My parents considered this an atrocity because of the danger of it, the doctors as well did not assure us anything, and they only said that there could be consequences due to all the nerves that pass through this region. They told us this surgery even had a risk of mortality and anyway, the headaches could anyway stay the same and that the surgery had to be done before a maximum of three months.
The pediatrician advised us to wait a little, since the only symptom I had were the headaches and that the surgery was very risky and not safe. I thank this pediatrician, which in all time told my parents to not make fast decisions. Thanks to this, my parents looked up on the Internet and found Dr. Royo´s clinic, which gave us another alternative to that other very dangerous surgery. His technique was the one of the section of the filum terminale, a minimal invasive surgery, which lasted for about 35 minutes and not aggressive at all. The results after the surgery were immediate, the headache had disappeared and the following day I went back home with no problem at all, bless this minimal invasive technique with such good results.
Today has been a year since the surgery and I can say that the strong headaches I had have disappeared completely. Nowadays, if I ever get a headache, they cannot be compared with the ones I had before, since they are completely different and much less intense. I had also recovered sensitivity in the abdominal region and strength in my hands although I did not know I had these problems until my first medical visit with Dr. Royo and he did a neurological exploration and showed us.
Also, I would like to mention that my memory has improved, if before I used to score good marks, now I score even better marks all because of the lack of this constant pressure in my head, I can’t feel any better!
I thank once again Dr. Royo and all his team, because they make people forget that these people had been suffering from any disease.
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