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Cervical fusion and headaches

CyndideeCCyndidee Posts: 1
edited 10/15/2014 - 3:40 PM in Neck Pain: Cervical
2 months ago I had anterior Cervical fusion surgery, since the operation I have been woken up numerous times in the middle of the night, and every morning with a pounding headache in the back base of my skull. My surgeon gave me two shots in my skull he said they were nerve blockers for the occipital nerve, the blockers lasted 2 and a half weeks, the headaches are horrendous again, he suggested I go see a neurologist now. I know cervical surgery can cause problems with the occipital nerve, and I can be truthful when I say I have had about 8 headaches in my 45 years of life.
I am so depressed from this, I have sat in bed sometimes for days due to depression and headaches.
Also I still am having a bad time swallowing since the surgery even saliva is difficult, my surgeon keeps telling me it's normal...
Please if anyone else has had this surgery and had gone through this too I would love to get some suggestions.
I cry almost every day with this problem, it's put me in such a slump.


  • TamlgTTamlg Posts: 2
    edited 10/16/2014 - 6:17 AM
    Hello, I had my surgery 6 months ago and I too am going through hell. Headaches,lump feeling in my throat,swallowing difficulties at times, also feels like my airway is restricted when I bend over or lay down. Im going to another Dr. next week, hope to get some answers, but I have a feeling this is going to be a long process. My surgeon told him he never heard of these issues, thought I was going crazy until I found this site. I,m also going through the same depression. Hopefully I will have something to share after next week. I will keep in touch.
  • I totally understand how hard it is to wake up with a pounding headache. Especially one that doesn't go away. I had headaches that would go on for a month straight before the surgery. It would go away and then come back. I didn't know what they were called but I knew they were related to my neck troubles. For the last couple of weeks, these headaches have started again. My headaches are a little different than yours but they are generally the same kind. They start at the base of my head but then go up the side of my head. Unfortunately I cant get injections for them because of an allergy.
    I am also having issues with swallowing and constantly need to drink something because I feel like I am choking. Apparently it takes time to get rid of this issue.
    I hope you get answers for the headaches.
    Tracie C
  • GropmGGropm Posts: 20
    edited 10/20/2014 - 7:19 PM
    I get the headaches, too. Had them before the surgery. They went away the first 3-4 weeks postop and then returned. I now take either a Fiorinal, Relpax or Frova tablet when I wake up with a headache (3-4 days a weeks). The medicine helps. I do, however, worry about all the medicines in my cabinet now. It's like a pharmacy. I try to rotate between soma, hydrocodone and clonazepam for pain/spasms, thinking if I take something different each day I won't develop a tolerance. This is probably not true as none of the medications seem as strong as they used to. This is concerning to me but I feel there is no alternative right now if I want to keep working. I need to take the edge off the pain to get through my day. I hope it gets better. 10 weeks postop, ACDF, C5/6.
  • Hi -
    I had an ACDF C4-5.6-7 in Nov 2011. Lots of headaches before, that would last for 5 days and at times cause vision loss. After the surgery, they went away. The only time that I get headaches now is if I've overdone it, and the muscle tension gives me symptoms like TMJ.

    As for the difficulty swallowing (I also had voice problems), I had that before and after surgery.Complained about it for years to every doc. Eventually, I saw a really good ENT about something else, and he sent me to a Speech Therapist. The ST said that the problems pre-op were because of the nerves being compressed. She also told me that during the surgery (ACDF) they push the laryngeal nerve to the side, and sometimes it spasms. That causes difficulty swallowing and speaking. I saw her for a few weeks, learned some exercises, and it went away! Every once in a while, my voice will start to be weird again, I do the exercises, and it stops.
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