Cranial Disorders

Also known as: Cysts, Chiari Malformations, Vascular Malformations, Acoustic Neuromas, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Hydrocephalus

In addition to brain tumors, Providence treats a broad scope of cranial disorders, including cysts, Chiari malformations, vascular malformations, acoustic neuromas, trigeminal neuralgia, and acquired and normal pressure hydrocephalus.


Generally, we treat cysts as if they were brain tumors. Once fully diagnosed, we evaluate the benefit of surgical intervention versus observation. If surgery is required, our surgeons use advanced surgical techniques and microsurgery to completely or partially excise or drain the cyst. They have experience with arachnoid, Rathke’s cleft and colloid cysts.

Trigeminal neuralgia

The facial pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia, in particular, can be a life-altering condition. Anti-seizure and pain medications may be the first course of treatment. However, surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve may be employed should the patient fail to improve with drug therapy. Stereotactic radiosurgery may be considered for patients with co-morbidities, high-risk medical conditions or pain refractory to prior surgeries. The goal of any proposed treatment is to reduce the pain and help improve the patient’s quality of life.

Chiari malformations and hydrocephalus

Treating Chiari malformation, and acquired and normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) can be very rewarding. Patients presenting with headaches and numbness in their limbs, as is the case with Chiari malformation, or with NPH symptoms, including gait and balance problems, urinary incontinence and symptoms that mimic the onset of dementia, are often surprised to learn that we can offer them surgical interventions that can help them regain control of their lives.

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Providence Physiatry

Providence Cranial, Spine & Joint Clinic