What is Basilar Invagination?

 This is from TCI: basilar invagination (protrusion of the upper end of the spine into the skull)
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 This article is from Dukehealth.org/Duke University, from this web link: here.

Article Details
Published: Sept. 29, 2010
Updated: Nov. 17, 2010

 Basilar invagination, also known as cranial settling, is a rare condition in which the second vertebrae in the neck, known as the dens or odontoid process, pushes upward and puts pressure on the brain stem or spinal cord, causing various neurological symptoms.

What causes basilar invagination?
This condition may be present at birth or develop as a result of disease or injury.

What does it feel like?
Symptoms include dizziness, headache, tingling, or numbness in upper extremities, pain in the neck when it is bent, and difficulty swallowing. Symptoms typically depend on the amount of pressure on the brain stem and spinal cord.

How do I know if I have basilar invagination?
Your physician will order a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan. A physical examination is also necessary to determine the extent of your clinical signs and symptoms.

How is basilar invagination treated?
Surgery is typically the treatment of choice for this condition. Cervical traction may be used to alleviate compression of the brain stem and spinal cord. In cases of severe compression, direct removal of the dens may be necessary.

***Another good source for Basilar Invagination is: Cedars-Sinai (probably my favorite link for this condition along w/ Dr. Rekate's video).
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Dr. Rekate's video about this: here

Great diagrams below:
Mason's MRI 7/9/12

Bailey's (Chiari friend we met while in NY) MRI on left side (5/12, was before Fusion surgery to correct BI)
MRI on right side (10/12, was after Fusion surgery.... notice how the brainstem is now straight?)
BIG Difference!!!
Bailey was decompressed due to her Chiari herniation in Dec. '11.
After she was decompressed, she continued to have similar, but different symptoms.
They then did another MRI in May, and realized that because of the small part of her skull
was removed, and that she has EDS it gave her Basilar Invagination the ability to compress more. There
for she under went a fusion for her BI. (basically to help stabilize her brain stem.)
Brenda has a great way of explaining EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome):
When the collagen does not hold anything in its place the bones basically loose the stability and when the did the decompression it caused more instability. Someone compared the collagen from eds to a rubberband and that when you stretch a rubberband in people with normal collagen the rubberband goes back to its normal shape. With EDS when you stretch it, it stays stretched.
Thank's Bailey & Brenda for letting me share!!!

Thanks Robin, for letting me share!


How Basilar Invagination is measured. It's called the Grabb Oaks Measurement

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