Posttraumatic Syringomyelia Follow-up

Updated: Oct 12, 2023
  • Author: Lance L Goetz, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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The natural history of untreated syringomyelia is variable, with stabilization of symptoms in some persons and slow but persistent progression in others. Some persons continue to demonstrate progression of the condition, despite surgical intervention. The exact percentage of persons with initially asymptomatic syrinx cavities who become symptomatic is not known.

A literature review by Kleindienst et al indicated that in patients who undergo surgery for posttraumatic syringomyelia, pain, sensory function, and motor function may improve in 43%, 49%, and 55% of them, respectively. However, according to the study, pain can worsen and a deterioration of sensory and motor function can occur in 15%, 27%, and 25% of surgical patients, respectively, with almost all individuals suffering a postoperative decline in autonomic function. [21]


Patient Education

Medical professionals should educate the patient with PTS to avoid actions such as straining or Valsalva-type activities that may worsen symptoms. After successful treatment, this precaution may be lifted.