The best surgery for syringomyelia will fix the cause of the cavity filled with cerebrospinal fluid, called the syrinx, but not operate on the syrinx directly. In cases where the syrinx is caused by a Chiari malformation, neurological surgeons decompress the malformation by removing part of the bone surrounding the area.
The goal of treating syringomyelia is to get rid of the syrinx cavity in the spinal cord. Decompression surgery returns the flow of spinal fluid to normal and usually resolves the condition. There is a good chance that surgery will improve or eliminate numbness caused by a syrinx. Some patients experience burning pain and weakness in their extremities caused by the syrinx. This is most likely permanent and can be reduced after surgery, but will not be resolved completely.
If left untreated, the syrinx cavity can cause permanent nerve damage. Early treatment is essential.