Syringomyelia is a condition where cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) enters the spinal cord. These cysts of CSF fluid are called a Syrinx. They can occur along the length of the spinal cord and put pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord. These cysts can enlarge and elongate over time destroying parts of the spinal cord. Resulting in pain and dysfunction that can become permanent spinal damage. 

Symptoms range depending on where in the cord the syrinx is and can result in paralysis or dysfunction below the syrinx. Weakness, stiffness, paraesthesia, numbness etc can all occur. 

The most common cause of Syringomyelia is as a result of Chiari Malformation. Other causes can include damage from an injury to the cord and the rest is usually considered idiopathic. 

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MRI showing a syrinx in the spine