A UNIQUE CASE OF CHIARI MALFORMATIONS IN A DIVISION II SOFTBALL PITCHER, ROSANNA JARAMILLO. MILLEDGEVILLE, GA
Background: This case presents a 20-year-old female who pitches collegiately for a Division II college. The patient suffered from headaches, more severe than migraines since she was 12 years old. The athlete was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation, Type 1, at the age of 12. During her high school 2016 softball season, things began to take a turn for the worse. Her memory of playing a softball game that day was gone. Once admitted into the hospital, doctors concluded she had fluid backing up in a cavity on her spinal cord. Athlete underwent surgery shortly after. Differential Diagnosis: Spina Bifida, birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord do not form properly. Treatment: Surgery was performed to decompress the posterior fossa. Stretching and cupping therapy is used to release tension. Radiofrequency ablation, also known as rhizotomy, is preformed yearly to masque her headaches. This method is burning the nerve endings to reduce the transmission of pain experienced. Uniqueness: Chiari Malformations form when the skull is smaller than normal, ultimately blocking the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Chiari malformations have been reported to be rare. Despite her severe headaches and dizziness, the athlete pushes herself, beyond her symptoms. The severity of the symptoms is managed with rehabilitation, thermotherapy, stretching and yearly radiofrequency ablation to allow for her to continue a Division II athletic career.
Jaramillo, Rosanna, "Chiari Malformations" (2021). Graduate Research Showcase. 18.