European Spine Journal

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 158–162 | Cite as

Syringomyelia and Arnold Chiari in scoliosis initially classified as idiopathic: Experience with 25 patients

  • E. Emery
  • A. Redondo
  • A. Rey
Original Article


The authors analysed the clinical and radiological findings and the surgical management of 25 patients admitted for scoliosis classified as idiopathic at first presentation, but in fact associated with spinal cord and/or brain stem anomalies. Twenty patients had syringomyelia, 19 had Chiari malformation. Scoliosis was the only presenting symptom when all these patients were referred to the orthopaedic surgeon. On examination, five patients had normal neurological findings, while the others showed very mild neurological deficits. The diagnosis of syringomyelia and Chiari malformation was established by MRI, which is the best form of neuroradiological examination for discovering spinal abnormalities. Neurosurgical treatment is strongly recommended as the first step in the management of “pseudo” idiopathic scoliosis.

Key words

Spinal cord Scoliosis Syringomyelia Chiari malformation Surgical management 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Emery
    • 1
  • A. Redondo
    • 1
  • A. Rey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryBeaujon HospitalClichyFrance

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