Anterior or posterior decompression of the foramen magnum was performed in three patients with syringomyelia associated with basilar impression and Chiari I malformation. The operative results were evaluated using the pre- and postoperative magnetic resonance (MR) images. Two patients with combined anterior and posterior cervicomedullary compression due to basilar impression and tonsillar descent received suboccipital craniectomy, upper cervical laminectomy, and dural plasty without any intradural manipulations via the posterior approach. One patient with prominent anterior cervicomedullary compression due to basilar impression and a sharp clivoaxial angle was operated on by the transoral anterior approach. Postoperatively, all patients showed a sustained shrinkage of the syrinx and rounding of the flattened cerebellar tonsils. Two patients showed upward movement of the herniated tonsils. All patients had improved symptoms during 2-4 years follow-up. Treatment of syringomyelia associated with basilar impression and Chiari I malformation requires more efficient decompressive procedures at the foramen magnum based on neurological and MR findings.