What is Syringomyelia?

Syringomyelia is a rare disorder characterized by the presence of fluid-filled cysts, called syrinxes, within the spinal cord. The most common symptom is progressive pain, weakness, and stiffness in the back, shoulders, arms, or legs. Other symptoms may include loss of sensitivity to pain and temperature, muscle atrophy, and in some cases, paralysis.

The most common cause of syringomyelia is the obstruction of the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the central nervous system. This obstruction can be due to conditions such as Chiari malformation, spinal trauma, or a tumor. Treatment options for syringomyelia depend on the severity of symptoms. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to remove the obstruction and drain the syrinx. Ventriculoperitoneal shunting is another treatment option, involving the placement of a tube to drain the excess fluid from the syrinx into the abdominal cavity.

The impact of syringomyelia on daily activities can be profound, causing difficulty with movement, coordination, and even self-care tasks. Additionally, the unpredictable nature of the condition can make it challenging for individuals to maintain employment. Unfortunately, there is no cure for syringomyelia, and treatment is aimed at managing symptoms and preventing further progression of the condition.

Symptoms of Syringomyelia

Syringomyelia is a condition characterized by the presence of a fluid-filled cyst within the spinal cord. Symptoms of syringomyelia include neck pain, which can be dull or sharp and may radiate to the arms or shoulders. The pain may be exacerbated by activities such as coughing or straining. This can impact an individual’s ability to perform daily activities, such as lifting and carrying objects or even turning their head.

Muscle weakness is another common symptom, affecting the arms, hands, legs, and even the facial muscles. This can lead to difficulties with fine motor tasks such as writing or buttoning a shirt. Numbness, reduced sensitivity to pain, and temperature changes may also occur, affecting the ability to feel and respond to stimuli properly.

Headaches are another symptom, often described as aching and located at the back of the head or neck. These can interfere with daily activities such as working, studying, or even socializing. Overall, the symptoms of syringomyelia can significantly impact an individual’s ability to perform daily activities, leading to physical limitations and impacting their overall quality of life.

Is Syringomyelia Listed as an Impairment by the SSA?

Yes, syringomyelia is included in the Social Security Administration’s listing of impairments under the neurological disorders section. To qualify for disability benefits, an individual must be able to provide medical evidence of the presence of syringomyelia, such as imaging studies or clinical examination findings. The condition must also result in significant functional limitations, such as difficulty walking, weakness, or sensory disturbances.

When applying for disability benefits, individuals with syringomyelia can submit their medical records and documentation from healthcare providers to support their claim. This may include information about symptoms, treatments, and the impact of the condition on daily activities and ability to work.

Syringomyelia can have significant implications for a person’s ability to work, as it may cause chronic pain, mobility limitations, and other debilitating symptoms. Thus, meeting the qualifying criteria for disability benefits may be essential for individuals with syringomyelia who are unable to work due to their condition.

What do I Need to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Social Security disability benefits are available to individuals who are unable to work due to a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death. To be eligible for these benefits, an individual must have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability. This means the condition must be severe enough to prevent the individual from performing substantial gainful activity.

There are two types of Social Security disability benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI benefits are based on the individual’s prior work history and earnings, while SSI benefits are for people with limited income and resources.

The application process for both types of benefits involves providing detailed medical records and documentation of the individual’s inability to work. The SSA will evaluate the medical evidence and work history to determine eligibility. It’s important to note that the approval process can be lengthy and may require appealing a denial.

Overall, to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, individuals must meet the specific criteria for disability and meet the eligibility requirements for either SSDI or SSI benefits.

How a Disability Lawyer can Help

A Disability Lawyer can greatly assist with a Syringomyelia disability claim by navigating the complex legal processes, completing necessary paperwork, and advocating for the claimant’s rights. They can help gather the required medical evidence, such as MRIs, doctor’s notes, and treatment records, to support the claim. The lawyer can also assist in obtaining medical records and preparing the claimant for hearings, ensuring that all necessary evidence is presented to support the disability claim.

A Disability Lawyer can help the claimant understand the criteria for disability benefits related to Syringomyelia, and work to ensure that all necessary evidence and paperwork is submitted to support the claim. By engaging a lawyer, the claimant can improve their chances of successfully obtaining disability benefits and receiving the financial support they need. Furthermore, a lawyer can help the claimant navigate any potential appeals or denials in the process. With the assistance of a Disability Lawyer, the claimant can feel more confident in their ability to secure the benefits they are entitled to.