Hydromyelia is an abnormal widening of the central canal of the spinal cord. This creates a cavity in which cerebrospinal fluid may build up. This causes an abnormal pressure on the spinal cord. This condition is associated with a number of disorders that disrupt the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid. They include:

  • Chiari I and II.

  • Dandy-Walker malformation.


This disorder is often associated with trauma. That is damage caused by an accident.


Problems (symptoms) may not occur right away. They include:

  • Weakness of the hands, arms, and legs.

  • Sensory loss in the neck and arms.

Some individuals have severe pain in the neck and arms.


Diagnosis is made by:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

  • Electromyography.


Generally, caregivers recommend surgery for individuals with this disorder who have moderate or severe neurological deficits. Surgical treatment opens pathways to allow for the flow of cerebrospinal fluid.

Surgery may permanently or temporarily relieve symptoms. But it can also cause a number of severe complications. In some cases, spontaneous remission may occur.