Open Accessibility Menu
COVID-19 UPDATE: We are open! Our team is working and offering consultations via phone, e-mail, and video conferencing.

Chiari I Malformation - Exacerbation By Trauma

Karns & Kerrison

Chiari I malformation is a condition in which the lower part of the brain, called the cerebellar tonsil, herniates down through the skull and into the spinal canal. The herniated tissue presses against the brainstem and blocks the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Depending on the extent of herniation, these malformations cause a variety of symptoms that range from mild to severe.

Chiari malformations may be present at birth (congenital) and are categorized into different types. Chiari type I malformation is the most common and mildest form that develops as the skull grows. Symptoms may not appear until early adulthood, causing severe headache, neck pain, and debilitating deficits. Chiari types II and III malformations affect infants; these more severe brain herniations require prompt treatment.

In some cases, the CSF accumulates within the spinal canal where it eventually forms a syrinx or cyst. This condition, called syringomyelia, causes neurological problems by damaging the spinal cord.

Chiari I common symptoms

  • Severe head and neck pain
  • Headaches brought on by coughing, sneezing or straining
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Frequent gagging and choking
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Balance problems
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of fine motor skills
  • Poor hand coordination
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Hypersensitivity to bright lights
  • Nystagmus (involuntary eye movements)
  • Difficulty in tracking objects
  • Tinnitus (buzzing or ringing in the ear)
  • Hearing loss
  • Vocal cord paralysis
  • Sleep apnea

Although this condition is congenital, a number of physicians and experts in the field of Chiari I malformation clearly indicate that a person who has this malformation and no symptoms and be made symptomatic by an impact such as sustained in a motor vehicle accident or slip & fall injury. Trauma can exacerbate the Chiari I malformation that was symptomatic prior to the trauma and made symptomatic following the trauma causing the above indicated symptoms.

Karns & Kerrison is experienced in representing trauma victims that suffer symptoms from Chiari I malformation and has offices in Cranston, Rhode Island, East Providence, Rhode Island and Middletown, Rhode Island serving all of Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. Karns & Kerrison has successfully litigated Chiari I malformation cases regarding trauma.


Schedule A Free Consultation

If you or your loved one suffered severe, life-altering injuries due to someone else’s negligence, we are here to help you fight for justice. For answers to your questions or to schedule a free consultation, contact our personal injury team at (888) 281-3100. We offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay attorneys’ fees after we have recovered compensation on your behalf.

  • Please enter your First Name.
  • Please enter your Last Name.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.