Medical Specialty >> Neurology

Doctors Lounge - Neurology Answers

Back to Neurology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Syrinx evaluation - when to switch from neurology to surg

 mgr - Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:58 pm

After years of chronic pain, I found myself in agony and with bowel and bladder problems in March. Eventually, my gastroenterologist sent me to a neurologist, who surprisingly found a syrinx (c5-c7).

The neurologist clearly doesn't know what to do next, and when I asked if I should see a specialist, she said yes (although she didn't suggest anyone).

I am wondering at what point in terms of evaluations I switch from trying neurologists to neurosurgeons (based on what I've read it seems like I definitely need surgery; the neurologists themselves don't know much about the disease, and my primary hasn't even looked up what a syrinx is -- even though she is giving me recommendations on what neurologists to see!)

Thanks so much
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:13 am

User avatar Hello -

I would think now that a syrinx has been identified the neurologist would have referred you to a neurosurgeon to evaluate and try to determine the best route to relieving the pain. The fact that you have pain with a syrinx is unusual, as most often there is a reduction in sensitivity to pain, but there's always the exception that proves the rule.

The usual surgical approach to these, when surgery is advised (by a neurosurgeon)
is to surgically drain the syrinx and, if a tumor is also present, remove it at the same time.

If your insurance requires a referral then you'll need to press either your PCP or neurologist to come up with someone; an alternative, if permitted by your insurance, would be to research the matter and choose one yourself based on reputation. You're definitely at the point where you'll need the evaluation by a surgeon, even if surgery is, in the end, ruled out as a fix for this.

I hope this is helpful. Best of luck to you and please do follow up with us.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us