More than a quarter of spinal cord injured patients develop syringes and many of these patients suffer progressive neurological deficits as a result of cyst enlargement. The mechanism of initial cyst formation and progressive enlargement are unknown, although arachnoiditis and persisting cord compression with disturbance of cerebrospinal fluid flow appear to be important aetiological factors. Current treatment options include correction of bony deformity, decompression of the spinal cord, division of adhesions, and shunting. Long-term improvement occurs in fewer than half of patients treated. Imaging evidence of a reduction in syrinx size following treatment does not guarantee symptomatic resolution or even prevention of further neurological loss. A better understanding of the causal mechanisms of syringomyelia is required to develop more effective therapy.