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Left cerebellar ectopia

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Hi there, I have serve headaches for the last month, I had a ct scan and the results were: Left cerebellar tonsil extending through foramen magnum less than 5mm representing left cerebellar ectopia. Small amount of fluid within the right sphenoidal sinus. I have left side pain near my spine, lightheadness, blurry vision, and a bit dizzy at times. I have a appointment with a surgeon in 2 weeks. Can you please explain what this means. Thankyou

Category: Neurologist, Medical

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Category: Pediatric Neurologist
 21 Doctors Online


Thank you for posting your query at

I have noted your symptoms and CT scan findings.

Normally, the cerebellum (smaller brain located at the back of bigger brain) remains within the skull. In your case, a small part of cerebellum is coming down through the foramen magnum (opening in the skull bone). As a result, there is a risk of compression of lower brain (brainstem) and upper cervical spinal cord (cervical region). This condition is also called as Chiari malformation.

This can be confirmed by MRI brain and upper cervical spine.

If there is compression of brainstem or cervical cord, then a decompressive surgery may be needed. Otherwise, there is no need for surgery.

I hope it helps. Please get back if you have any more queries.

Best wishes,
Dr. Sudhir Kumar MD (Medicine), DM (Neurology)
Senior Consultant Neurologist

Dr. Sudhir Kumar
Category: Pediatric Neurologist
Senior Residency, Fellowship: DM, Neurology, CMC, Vellore, 2001
Junior Residency: MD, Internal Medicine, CMC, Vellore, 1998
Medical School: MBBS, Christian Medical College, Vellore, 1995
Dr. Sudhir Kumar and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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