What is cerebellar tonsillar ectopia?

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Cerebellar tonsil ectopia, also called chiari malformation at milder form, is a life-threatening condition. The increased pressure on cerebellar tonsils make them pass through foramen magnum in skull, which causes tonsillar herniation.

There are four types of cerebellar tonsillar ectopia, among which type 1 and 2 are the most common types. Type 1 is a congenital anomaly.

The symptoms include:

  • Severe headache in full head along with pain in the neck region
  • Sneezing
  • Altered sensations
  • Weakness in upper and lower limbs
  • Effected vision

Surgery is the most effective and only treatment for cerebellar tonsillar ectopia. In order to decompress the elongated cerebellar tonsils, a surgery called sub occipital craniectomy will be performed. The surgery lasts for more than 3-4 hours under general anesthesia.