What is a thoracic syrinx?

A syrinx is a fluid-filled cavity within the spinal cord (syringomyelia) or brain stem (syringobulbia). Predisposing factors include craniocervical junction abnormalities, previous spinal cord trauma, and spinal cord tumors.

What causes a syrinx in the thoracic spine?

The exact, underlying reason for the formation of a syrinx is unknown. Most theories implicate the obstruction or disruption of the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) as the most common cause. CSF is a clear fluid that surrounds and is within the brain and surrounds the spinal cord.

What happens if a syrinx ruptures?

Spinal fluid is thought to flow through channels that act as one-way valves: fluid flows in but little flows out. Pressure builds in the syrinx until it enlarges and ruptures, damaging normal spinal cord tissue and injuring nerve cells.

Can you live with a syrinx?

The syrinx can grow over time, requiring additional treatment. Even after treatment, some signs and symptoms of syringomyelia can remain, as a syrinx can cause permanent spinal cord and nerve damage.

What should you not do with a syrinx?

Avoid doing anything that worsens your symptoms. For many people with syringomyelia, heavy lifting and straining can trigger symptoms, so avoid these activities. Also, avoid flexing your neck.

What is thoracic syrinx fracture?

Her fall resulted in a left ankle fracture that required open reduction and internal fixation. Magnetic resonance imaging of her brain and spine revealed a diffuse, abnormally increased cord signal. The patient was diagnosed with a thoracic syrinx, which is a longitudinal fluid-filled cavity along the spinal cord.

What are the symptoms of a syrinx cyst?

Early symptoms include headache1,10, altered pain and temperature sensation7,10,14, and parasthesia10,15. If fluid continues to enlarge the cyst, the syrinx has the potential to compress or destroy the affected portions of the spinal cord.

What are the complications of Syrinx?

Complications that may occur as a syrinx enlarges or if it damages nerves within your spinal cord include: 1 Scoliosis — an abnormal curve of your spine. 2 Chronic pain — damage to the spinal cord can cause severe, chronic pain. 3 Motor difficulties — weakness and stiffness in your leg muscles can eventually affect your gait.

What are the signs and symptoms of syringomyelia?

The following early signs and symptoms of syringomyelia may affect the back of your neck, shoulders, arms and hands first: 1 Muscle weakness and wasting (atrophy). 2 Loss of reflexes. 3 Loss of sensitivity to pain and temperature.