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Spine and Back Health

Hydromyelia

05/26/2011

Question:

I have recently been diagnosed with Hydromyelia. My Dr. spoke about two options: aspiration and if that doesn`t work a shunt. I would like to know the success rate and risk factors for both procedures. Also the risks of not doing anything about it now.

Answer:

Hello, thank you for your question. These are definitely questions you should be discussing with your neurosurgeon. It is impossible to answer your questions without knowing your full medical history, neurological examination, and imaging results. The prognosis, risks, dangers of not treating etc. all vary tremendously depending on the diameter of the hydromyelia, the length of it, the amount of spinal cord dysfunction it causes, etc. Similarly, the success rate and risks of the surgery depends greatly on the size of the lesion and the neurological status of the patient. You must be sure that your neurosurgeon answers these questions for you before you have anything done. Good luck.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University