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What is a syrinx in the spinal cord called?

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Quick Answer

A syrinx in the spinal cord is a rare condition called syringomyelia, according to Healthline. A syrinx is a cyst filled with cerebrospinal fluid that forms within the cord, adds the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

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Full Answer

Syrinxes develop anywhere along the spinal cord; however, they often start in the neck and grow downward, affecting the entire cord, explains Merck Manual. As the cyst grows and lengthens, it destroys a portion of the spinal cord from the inside out, states the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. It also damages nerve fibers that conduct information from the brain to the body’s extremities.

Syrinxes may be congenital or develop because of a tumor or injury, reports Merck Manual. Syringomyelia causes progressive stiffness, pain and weakness in the back, arms, shoulders and legs and loss of the ability to feel pain and cold, states Healthline.

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