Spontaneous regression of post-traumatic syringomyelia: A case report and literature review

Monish M. Maharaj*, Kevin Phan, Ralph Mobbs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Syringomyelia defines a condition in which myelopathy develops secondary to the formation of a cyst or cavity within the spinal cord parenchyma known as a syrinx. Although there is a significant volume of studies analysing the underlying mechanisms behind their formation, the management of such cavities remains an ongoing topic of debate. Aside from conservative approach, a range of surgical options exist, however long term outcomes are poor and a literature search reveals that the overall benefits are questionable. We present a 31-year-old man with an incidental finding of a syrinx on MRI following a traumatic spinal cord injury. Following a decompression and 360° fusion at the C6/7 level for a fracture-dislocation, the patient developed a delayed syrinx (54 mm × 11 mm × 8 mm), and was managed conservatively. Over 2-year follow-up, the volume of the syrinx spontaneously reduced (46 × 5 × 5). Conservative treatment including careful observation is advisable as the first line therapy in patients with a post-traumatic syrinx. Surgery may be indicated in patients with progressive neurological symptoms, however there is a distinct lack of robust evidence on the long-term efficacy of surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-253
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Post traumatic
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Spontaneous resolution
  • Syringomyelia


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