A patient with an Arnold Chiari I malformation may experience sudden death. Fortunately, the occurrence of sport-related complications is low.
Risk factors for sudden death in a patient with Chiari Type I malformation include:
(1) head trauma (even seemingly mild)
(2) an increase in intracranial pressure
In general, participation in most sports should be safe for a patient with Chiari I malformations.
Reasons for caution:
(1) risk for severe head or neck trauma: football, soccer (heading), boxing/martial arts
(2) symptomatic status (vs asymptomatic)
(3) opioid analgesics for pain (can cause respiratory depression)
(1) return to play decisions
(2) management after concussion
A patient who has had foramen magnum decompression would be at lower risk for herniation.
To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.
Specialty: Surgery, orthopedic, Neurology