Syringomyelia is the development of a fluid-filled cyst (syrinx) within your spinal cord. Over time, the cyst may enlarge, damaging your spinal cord and causing pain, weakness and stiffness, among other symptoms.
If syringomyelia isn't causing any problems, monitoring the condition may be all that's necessary. But if you're bothered by symptoms, you may need surgery.
The goal of surgery is to remove the pressure the syrinx places on your spinal cord and to restore the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid. This can help improve your symptoms and nervous system (neurological) function. The type of surgery you'll need depends on the underlying cause of syringomyelia.
Not all treatments, tests and services are available at all Mayo Clinic Health System locations. Check with your preferred location in advance.