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Anyone else have headaches after a fusion?

beaverbbeaver Posts: 190
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hubby is prone to migraines but he had two in the hospital and one almost every day since he came home. Is this a side effect of something. In the hospital I thought they were caused by stress but now he is home and he still is having them.


  • Could it be the medication that he is taking? I would try to figure out what he is taking that he hasn't taken before.

    Just a thought.

  • It could be the meds or even the anaesthetic as he is still so soon after surgery. I would suggest drinking lots of water to try to flush it out.

    I have had quite frequent headaches since surgery. I had been getting them before surgery, I think due to my neck problems, as I often wake in the night with a real pounding head.

    I have had 3 occasions when I have had visual disturbance, which has been much more severe than any time before surgery.
    The first time, I was diagnosed with TIA (mini stroke) and spent a very long day at the hospital having brain CT scan and ultrasound of the arteries in my neck as well as various other tests. I was given the all clear and was told everything was normal, so it must have been a migraine.
    The last 2 occasions, the visual symptoms were followed by a headache. I have suffered with migraine for years, but not with the same level of visual disturbance before.

    I guess that this surgery is a big trauma on our body and that could cause it.

    If they continue, perhaps it would be wise to let your surgeon know, just in case.
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  • How is his blood pressure? High blood pressure often causes headaches as does hypoglycemia.

    Hope they go away or atleast minimize with meds!

    Hang in there!
  • How is your husband doing? Have his headaches subsided? Looking forward to an update.

    Hope you are getting some rest yourself. It was difficult to leave my son tonight but his boys needed some time with me to hear about their Dad and I so love spending time with them.

    Made me feel guilty leaving him there by himself but he has great nurses!

    Peggy x
  • I am one week post op L5/S1 fusion with scar revision and very much scar removal. I previously had a laminectomy/discectomy at the same level 5 years age.
    During this surgery, while removing the extensive scar tissue, the doctor tore away some of the dural lining. This, in turn, cause a leak of cerebral spinal fluid. It was immediately caught, and patched, but I had a severe headache coming out of surgery and every subsequent day afterward. They are diminishing in intensity, but only because the leak was sealed of immediately. It is/was the CSF fluid that had already leaked out that is causing what is called a "spinal headache". I've had migraines in the past and these are very very similar. Sometimes the tear can be so very small that the doctor/surgery team doesn't catch it during the operation. Sometimes the hole seals itself off, but sometime it does not. Special testing would confirm if this is the case.
    Good luck to both you and your husband. I would definetly contact the surgeon and mention this possibility. They sometimes think they are so good and this could not be the case, but if the frequency and intensity continue without getting better, I would insist that it checked. :)
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  • Just out of interest, what is the special testing that can confirm if there has been a spinal fluid leak?

    I think I was lucky to avoid having a dural tear. My epidural was damaged causing a haemorrhage, meaning I needed a transfusion. I would rather that than have a spinal headache!
  • I think! Once the bladder infection was cleared up he could get more rest. And yesterday he had the staples taken out and so can lie more comfortably on his back.

    He has been taking six walks a day and trying to go further on each walk. I think we have worked up to half a kilometer at least. It is really hot here right now so that makes it more difficult but he is determined.

    And the biggest blessing is that he has no pain whatsoever. Did have a bit running down his leg one day but that has cleared up. He takes no pain meds and I am just praying that this will continue.
  • A radionuclide cisternogram is a nuclear scan test used to diagnose spinal fluid circulation problems.
    Different hospitals and different doctors may use other methods, but this is the only conclusive test I've heard of to check for a leak.

  • I learn something new everyday. :-)
  • Best of luck to you. My headaches have subsided completely (knock on wood). I am a nurse by proffesion but because of my back issues I could no longer do direct patient care. I moved to the outpatient diagnostic scheduling department, keeping my position, just less strenuous. I've recently had to resign for an undetermined amount of time because I could no longer sit or drive.
    As a scheduler I scheduled many cisternograms for various reasons.
    Again, best wishes and happy healing :)
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