Published by ICSEB at 25 February, 2009
Date of intervention: February 2009
Hello, I am Angel Fernandez, I am 27 years old, I live in Valencia and I am Dr. Royo´s patient who suffered from Arnold Chiari I Syndrome, cervicodorsal Syringomyelia and idiopathic Scoliosis, but I was lucky to have found out about this before I even noticed any symptomatology.
As a little boy, I suffered strong headaches in the year 1993, my parents decided to take me to see a neurologist at the General Hospital of Valencia, where they did all types of tests on me such as MRI scans, brain CAT and others. My diagnosis showed a moderate dilatation of the lateral ventricles, together with Hydrocephalia and Macrocephalia. The neurologist told my parents I did not need to go back and have any other tests done until next year, since they didn´t know if the ventricle dilatation was of birth or could either be formed within the years gone by. If it were from the years gone by, they would have to practice a surgery to place a valve and if it were from birth it would be normal.
In the year 1994, they redo all the tests and again observe a dilatation in the third and lateral ventricles. They compare with the last tests and have a comparative study and if they clinically consider it indicated; they could do another control after a year.
In the year 1995, we go back and repeat the tests, which evidence a moderate dilatation in the third and lateral ventricles that will have to be compared with the previous explorations. The neurologist says it is convenient to give me the certificate of discharge since the ventricles have not continued to dilate within two years of treatment and they have not seen in the MRI scans a clear Syringomyelia.
It is in the year 2007 when I start to have strong pain in the lumbar area and in my neck followed by headaches and dizziness, to which I did not pay enough attention to since I thought it was normal due to my position at work (hairdresser) but in the year 2008 I decide to go to a traumatologist because the pain was stronger, more frequent and my hands were becoming numb. Without sending me to do any test; the traumatologist tells me I have a cervical muscular contraction and sends me to do physiotherapy. I start with the massages and the third day I almost could not walk, the neck and head pain and the dizziness were worsening. I decide to go back to the traumatologist and ask to have an MRI done in the “Casa de Salud Clinic” in Valencia. The result showed I have a Syringomyelic cavity and Chiari I Syndrome; an illness that no doctor in the General Hospital had seen before in the MRI scans, which were done 15 years ago.
Later on, Dr. Royo was able to confirm a clear Syringomyelia in my MRI scans, which done in the years 1993, 94, 95 and 97. I then visit different neurosurgeons, three of them agree to practice a craniectomy, a very risky intervention. One of them says to wait 7 months, to see if more symptoms appear, because the symptoms of this illness still have not appeared; another one of them tells me if I don´t go through this intervention, I should be conscious that I will end up in a wheel chair and that the illness would become a tetraplegia and it was still not developed.
Thanks to my causin (my guardian angel) who searched desperately on Internet the name of this illness and found Dr. Royo´s Institute and his fabulous team and contacted with some of his patients. All the patients she contacted, had the same symptoms as I did and they explained that with the tecnique that Dr. Royo practiced which was the section of the flilum terminale the cause of this rare illness was eliminated and in only one day after the intervention you were recovered from it and it was not risky or dangerous like the Craniectomy. So she on her own makes an appointment for me with Dr. Royo on Wednesday, February 25th.
After visiting Dr. Royo, he explained to me that this intervention proposes to stop the progression of the illness and eventually a recovery from the symptomatology in the case of not being irreversible. In the physical exploration, he observes I do not notice the cold temperature in my hands and superior part of the thorax, I have the reflexes at the bottom of my feet the wrong way. The following day I go through the intervention and after 10 hours from it I recover all my sensitivity that I had lost and the strong pain I had in my head and neck disappeared.
After a month, I went back to Dr. Royo for a check up and up until now I have been noticing improvements and I almost don´t have headaches anymore. The night mare that for a whole year has not let me live a normal life has finished.
I hope that by telling my story I will help many people, like myself who suffer this rare illness and think that our future is destined to be on a wheel chair.
I congradulate and thank Dr. Royo and his team, for their work and encouragement to the people who suffer from Syringomyelia to get in touch with the Institute Chiari of Barcelona.
Angel Fernandez Defez.
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