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???? Could a Fusion cause Severe Headaches.....

MLT01MMLT01 Posts: 171
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

Hello Everyone,

I was wondering if anyone had or does have severe headaches from there Fusion??? I have been having a headache now for about 2 months...It feels like a ICP headache but wasn't sure could it be coming from the back? I had a strange feeling 2 months ago walking and that night flat on the couch with a headach....



  • Where was the fusion? Cervical, thoracic or lumbar? Headaches are most like caused by muscle spasms in the neck, but it all depends on where the fusion is.
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • I also have had the worst headaches after acdf which I had 4 1/2 months ago. Very bad I don't know why. Maybe it is neck muscle spasms. Does this ever go away? I hate this surgery so much!
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  • Did you have headaches before surgery? I had them before and I still get them because of muscle spasms. Which levels did you have done?
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • I had these headaches after the fusion and now I so regret this surgery. The doctor told me it is probably from the surgery and I do believe it is because I am not a headache person. I had c5-6 fusion and when I get really bad headaches I get nausea. I am seeing an osteopath on Monday for it to see if there's anything I can do. I also have muscle spasms on my neck but the weird thing is that I didn't really have them as bad before surgery, they were mostly on my upper back now I have them on my neck and head which is worse pain. I wonder if this from the hardware or the structual change in the neck. The surgeons don't tell you anything about these things.
  • Keep in mind fusion is a major assault on your body. I also had body aches and pains that I never knew could hurt after surgery.

    One remote chance could be a little spinal fluid leakage after surgery. It's pretty remote, but when that does happen, most folks get a very bad headache among other symptoms.

    If you keep having headaches that you've never had before, it's certainly worth mentioning to your doctor.
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
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  • I am still having headaches 6 months after surgery. I had c4-5 fused with plates and screws. I had headaches before surgery but severe and daily headaches since surgery. Brain scan to rule out anything else and then on to the pain management dr. I'm wondering about the occipital nerve being inflamed. Thinking about an occipital nerve block. Any thoughts from those who have had this done for headache relief?
  • I had the bad headache's before I had my fusion with cage C5 C6 C7 on Jan 23 2007 my neck would swell. Now I don't have them. I don't have the plates & screws per say mine is kinda weird-looks like the rods goes threw the top of C5 all the way threw C7 2 of them then a plate with screws. I had steno sis, bone spurs which was Big, compression on spinal cord. Something is just not right are you seeing a Neurosurgeon??? If not go see one please!!! Even with a spinal leak it should have quit by now, I had Lumbar Fusion in May 24th 2007 L3 L4 L5 S1 & I had spinal Leak with a God awfull headace but the hospital was to far from me the surgeon was afraid for me to ride that far in the ambulance it was a NIGHTMARE!!! We did what he told my family to do & it did quit but lord it was bad along with the pain.
  • yes, possible. I suffer form them... on a daily basis.. see: Occiptial Neuralgia

    What is Occipital Neuralgia?

    Occipital neuralgia is a distinct type of headache characterized by piercing, throbbing, or electric-shock-like chronic pain in the upper neck, back of the head, and behind the ears, usually on one side of the head. Typically, the pain of occipital neuralgia begins in the neck and then spreads upwards. Some individuals will also experience pain in the scalp, forehead, and behind the eyes. Their scalp may also be tender to the touch, and their eyes especially sensitive to light. The location of pain is related to the areas supplied by the greater and lesser occipital nerves, which run from the area where the spinal column meets the neck, up to the scalp at the back of the head. The pain is caused by irritation or injury to the nerves, which can be the result of trauma to the back of the head, pinching of the nerves by overly tight neck muscles, compression of the nerve as it leaves the spine due to osteoarthritis, or tumors or other types of lesions in the neck. Localized inflammation or infection, gout, diabetes, blood vessel inflammation (vasculitis), and frequent lengthy periods of keeping the head in a downward and forward position are also associated with occipital neuralgia. In many cases, however, no cause can be found. A positive response (relief from pain) after an anesthetic nerve block will confirm the diagnosis.

    Is there any treatment?

    Treatment is generally symptomatic and includes massage and rest. In some cases, antidepressants may be used when the pain is particularly severe. Other treatments may include local nerve blocks and injections of steroids directly into the affected area.

    What is the prognosis?

    Occipital neuralgia is not a life-threatening condition. Many individuals will improve with therapy involving heat, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and muscle relaxants. Recovery is usually complete after the bout of pain has ended and the nerve damage repaired or lessened.

    What research is being done?

    The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and other institutes at the National Institutes of Health conduct research related to pain and occipital neuralgia in their clinics and laboratories and support additional research through grants to major medical institutions across the country. Much of this research focuses on understanding the basic mechanisms of pain and testing treatments in order to find better ways to treat occipital neuralgia.

  • I had the Occiptal Nerve Blocks..
    they worked for me.. but they do wear off.. after a while... but well worth it.
  • I had the Occiptal Nerve Blocks..
    they worked for me.. but they do wear off.. after a while... but well worth it.
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