World Arnold Chiari Malformation Association
Trauma Testimonials

The World ACM Association is concerned with the number of ACM patients who have a difficult time convincing insurance companies and courts of the fact that ACM symptoms are often triggered as the direct result of trauma to the head or spine. The following testimonials are just a sampling of the many ACM sufferers who have been tragically affected with the condition due to trauma. If you wish to use these testimonials to help your case, please contact the individuals at the addresses listed following their contribution.

Thanks and Good Luck with your fight.

  • updated 4-10-02

 

I) I was at a stop sign on November 3, 1995 when I was hit head-on by another car. Since then I have had all sorts of problems. Before my accident I was very healthy, working out every day etc. Now I have Arnold Chiari Malformation. Unfortunately, I had to go through 6 neurosurgeons in order to find one that specialized in ACM. I have had six surgeries since my accident...four of which were for ACM and SM. .I deal with chronic pain every day now since this accident.

contact

 

II) I was diagnosed with chiari during the summer of 1986. I had few symptoms at that time , and a neurologist told me then that if the chiari ever became truly troublesome, then surgery would be an option . In December 1996 , I was a passenger in a car that was stopped to make a left turn. We were rear-ended by a car going around 50 mph , and the back of my head struck the seat/ head rest. Within several hours, my symptoms got worse and continued to worsen for several weeks. Headaches and dizzy spells became constant along with many other symptoms commonly associated with ACM. One afternoon I passed out several times in my yard while trying to get into my house. A friend drove me to a nearby hospital where I was admitted and observed for several days. After seeing several specialists and undergoing many tests, it was discovered that my tonsillar herniation (ACM), which was 5 - 8 mm before the accident, was now 8 - 12 mm. It was explained to me by a world renowned ACM expert that my tonsils had herniated further due to the head blow.

contact
 

III) In March of 1997, I sought treatment from a chiropractor for what he told me was a pinched nerve in my neck. He treated me twice daily for about 4 months. About 6 weeks into the treatment I began to get headaches and pain at the right base of my skull, although I had never been bother by headaches before this. The headaches continued, along with neck pain, shoulder pain, and pain and numbness in the right arm and hand. I also began to get pain down the right side of my face, down my ear and into my shoulder. He treated me almost 200 times in the span of 9 months. He whipped and jerked my neck every time that I went to him. The adjustments were extremely painful---which he said wasn't abnormal. He would often adjust me in the morning, and I would have a killer headache within a half hour of the treatment. It was only when I sought an opinion from a prominent neurosurgeon that it was discovered that I had ACM. When I asked him what affect all of the neck adjustments had on my ACM, since I was asymptomatic prior to that, he said that "you were standing over a tiger pit, and he pushed you in".

contact

 

IV) I am 23 and I was injured at work. I was hit in the back of the left side of my head by a door which weighed about 80 pounds. I had severe pressure headaches initially after the accident and they have continued ever since. About 6 months after the accident I started to get other symptoms such as severe dizziness. After I spoke to the doctor about all of this he finally ordered the MRI of the neck area. This is when I was diagnosed with ACM. So then I was referred to a neurosurgeon at USC. This doctor stated that my accident did aggravate the ACM. Then I requested a second opinion and that doctor (from UCLA) agreed with the first doctor.

contact 

 

VI) In 1994, I was a passenger in a car that ran a red light, hitting another car head on. I was checked out at the local ER and sent home, with mild head injury, whiplash etc. The next day I woke up sick to my stomach, my left arm was numb, and I began having severe headaches and neck pain. After 2 years of suffering with symptoms, the doctor finally sent me to a neurologist where is was determined I had partial complex seizures. I spent one week at the neurology unit of University of Penn. Medical center. The doctors there confirmed that my seizures were caused by the car accident. I continued to have other symptoms so an mri was done, finding the ACM. I had my first decompression in March 1997. We were not aware that ACM can be started by a trauma, although our neurosurgeon did say it is very possible. Before my accident, I had went to the doctors only a few times over a seven year period. I was very healthy, never had anything wrong. After the accident, in a two year period, I had seen the doctor over 60 times.

contact

 

VII) I am 43 years old. I was diagnosed with ACM in 1994, I had just had my lower jaw manipulated and drawn forward because of a TMJ diagnosis. The symptoms that started after my dental work were headaches, numbness on the left side of my face, and pain between my shoulder blades. I had a standard decompression preformed at that time. I went for 7 years relatively symptom free. In the summer of 1997, I fell, striking my head on a rock. Symptoms such as severe constant headache, left sided weakness and numbness, and vertigo started to be daily problems. After six months of testing, and being told that the decompression had been a success, I was referred to Dr. Milhorat. I still had compression of the cerebellum, and the accident had brought on symptoms. I had another decompression surgery preformed in June of 1998. The symptoms were greatly relieved.

contact

 

IX) My husband is a lineman for the local electric company. In the summer of 1997 he fell from a utility pole. Actually, he slid down it and landed on his feet. 3 months later, the symptoms started, numbness, tingling, etc. We didn't connect the two right away, as he was first diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, and was treated for that. Since then we have often wondered if that "jarring" his body took when he landed at the bottom of the pole may have begun or accelerated and chiari symptoms.

contact

 

X) I had a major car accident 12 years ago. I broke my neck at C-5 and C-6. All of my many acm symptoms started after that.

contact

 

XI) I know that the onset of symptoms began early in my marriage. My first husband was abusive and I got hit regularly in the head and neck area over a four year span. I know that the physical abuse I suffered helped my symptoms to increase. Maybe this will help someone who is in the same situation that I once was.

contact

If you would like to add your story here, please contact Chip. Thanks.

 

Back to: Wacma Home or Onsite Information 

 Updates or additions  can be sent to chip@wacma.com
 

This web space provided by PressEnter