This post discusses disability benefits for Syringomyelia. If you are unable to work due to Syringomyelia, read on for how SSA will evaluate your claim for disability.

Syringomyelia is the development of a fluid-filled cyst (syrinx) within your spinal cord. If the cyst enlarges, damage can be caused to your spinal cord. Syringomyelia can have many causes but the most common cause is a Chiari malformation (brain tissue protrudes into your spinal canal). Via The Mayo Clinic

The spinal cord carries vital information about the rest of your body to your brain. When the spinal cord is damaged, this imperative flow of information can be cut off resulting in progressive weakness in the arms and legs, stiffness in the back, shoulders, arms, or legs, and chronic, severe pain.  Headaches, loss of bladder function and inability to feel hot/cold are also some possible symptoms. Via The National Institutes of Health

There are two types of Syringomyelia, communicating and non-communicating. Communicating Syringomyelia is associated with a Chiari I malformation. Communicating can also be accompanied by hydrocephalus (when CSF accumulates in the brain). Non-communicating arises from a complication of trauma, meningitis, hemorrhage, a tumor, or arachnoiditis. The symptoms may take months or years to manifest.

Treatments for Syringomyelia include surgery (to increase space at the base of the skull/upper neck) and shunting (draining the syrinx). If a tumor is causing the syringomyelia, removing it is usually the best option. Shunting may injure the spinal cord and shunts may have to be replaced due to clogging. Medications are not a treatment for Syringomyelia, except to remedy pain.

Social Security evaluates Syringomyelia under 11.19. This listing requires: significant bulbar signs; or disorganization of motor function as described in 11.04B (significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities, resulting in sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements, or gait and station).

Bulbar signs are also found in patients with ALS and muscular dystrophy. Some examples of bulbar signs are dysarthria (difficulty speaking due to muscle issues)  and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing due to muscle issues). Disorganization of motor function in two extremities would mean that you have serious issues with both hands or legs or one hand/one leg. Are you unable to walk without an assistive device? Are you unable to grasp and hold objects without dropping them? If you answer yes to either of these questions, you may meet the above listing.

Even if you do not meet the above listing, you still may be found disabled based on your syringomyelia. Pain, numbness and other symptoms may eliminate the possibility of work for you long before you meet this listing.

If you are unable to work, file your claim for Disability Benefits for Syringomyelia as soon as possible and call The Bishop Law Firm. We want to help!