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Migraine after cervical fusion

Has anyone experienced migraines after ACDF ? I'm almost 3 months post op and as soon as I was told to start taking off the brace at 2 weeks post op extreme headache and migranes began. My migraine is triggered by a weather changes, especially thunderstorms . Neurologist says my migrane is caused by neck muscle spasms. Half of my chin has numbness sensation and I was told by two physical therapists that it is a side affect left from the surgery and it will not return back to normal. Is anyone else experiencing the same issues?
Gabriella
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Comments

  • I just came out to this forum to post the same question. I am exactly 3 months post op (ACDF C5-C7.) I was doing well for the first two months, then at the beginning of month 3 I began having headaches. I have now had either a tension headache or a migraine for some portion of every day, mostly first thing in the morning and at night, for the last month. I have a history of migraines, but I've never had so many in a short period of time. I also started to have an increase in muscle pain in my neck, shoulders and upper back. I had assumed that the headaches could be from my seasonal allergies, but with the increased muscle pain I'm now wondering if the migraines are related to ACDF. It's disconcerting to have been getting better each day on the pain scale, only to have it suddenly worsen. I'm not sure if I'm having muscle spasms or not. It doesn't feel like my neck suddenly seizes up in pain; I just spend more time in pain than I did a month ago. I plan to call my neurosurgeon's office to see what they think about it. I'm also interested to see if others have experienced this.
    2015: ACDF C5-C7
  • You should definitely call your NS. I never had migranes or tension headaches before.My surgery was performed by orthopedic surgeon so I was referred to neurologist and had a brain and neck MRI. I was told my headache and migranes should go away with time as the neck muscles improve. Waiting to get an approval to start PT, hopefully neck muscle spams will end. Neck pain, back pain, headaches and migranes is a lot to deal with. Have you started PT yet?
    Gabriella
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  • It started about 3-4 weeks after my acdf on C5/C6. I have had daily headaches since. When it first started, it was so excruciating that I barely was able to get out of bed. I would cover my eyes, get in a quiet room and take pain meds that never helped completely. I cried every day. I was given an oral steroid and put on gabapentin and muscle relaxers. They take the edge off but the headache is always there. I went through months of PT and now I ran out of sessions that my insurance will cover. I am also on nortryptaline and a migraine rescue medicine that I can only take 2x week or less. They got better after a while of going through PT regularly. I have taken the rescue med this week already once and headed for a second time. I see an actual neurologist for the headaches now but they are caused by the nerves in my neck also. I have long term to permanent nerve damage in my neck because of spinal cord compression in my neck was left too long without treatment.
    Tracie C
  • My migranes got so severe I ended up in ER, after 8 hours I was send home after CT scan showed no life treating conditions. My neurologist says my heaches and migranes are caused by muscle spasm and they should decrease with time. I've taking Xanax instead of muscle relaxers and it does wonders. As for headaches I'm taking Amitriptyline and Sumatriptan for migranes. I'm not sure if I have any nerve damage but what I do know is that most likely the chin numbness sensation will not improve. How were diagnosed with permanent nerve damage? And what it treatment?
    Gabriella
  • Bee_FusedBBee_Fused Posts: 2
    edited 05/22/2015 - 4:17 AM
    Gabriella20 said:
    You should definitely call your NS. I never had migranes or tension headaches before.My surgery was performed by orthopedic surgeon so I was referred to neurologist and had a brain and neck MRI. I was told my headache and migranes should go away with time as the neck muscles improve. Waiting to get an approval to start PT, hopefully neck muscle spams will end. Neck pain, back pain, headaches and migranes is a lot to deal with. Have you started PT yet?
    I have not yet been approved to start PT, but I will call my neurosurgeon and ask about that. I am finding it very difficult to know what factors are contributing to post-operative pain. Allergies could be causing migraines; my 11-year old mattress could easily be causing neck pain. I have to remember that it's okay to call my doctor with these questions without fear of being perceived as dumb or annoying. PT scares me a little bit, because doing a simple PT exercise was the event that caused my protrusion to become a severe herniation and very quickly led to surgery. I would very much like to avoid that in the future :(
    2015: ACDF C5-C7
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  • I did have that and am currently being monitored by a neurologist in order to get them under control. I have my C1-C3 fused.
  • Hi everyone. A year ago come May 28th I had emergency surgery on my neck C3-T1. My previous surgery from 1999(from.a simple trip up stairs) had failed an the bone fusion at C5-6 herniated an had almost severed my spinal cord. I was in ICU 3 days normal room 4 days an sent to Rehabilitation hospital for 4 days before I cried to please come home, they allowed me to come home with a month of home health care. I was in a hard collar for 3 months. Did PT an then was told all better now. Ummm not so much!! I am in pain management but it is more like pill control, I take Oxytocin 2 X daily 40mg , oxycodone 10mg 5 X day on Robaxin Soma an Flexiril each for a different spams or pain or different time, as well as xanax 4 X daily. I know this sounds like a whole lot but for those of us in pain for 20 yrs know that one pill is not a miracle NO pill is the miracle at best what I take, takes the edge off. Well a yr after surgery I have headaches every day not debilitating but none the less there. I have muscle spasms so bad I am brought to tears. When I bend over to get something off floor my right shoulder the muscle right on top feels as tho I have been set on fire. But once I stood back up rubbed it a second it would stop. Now I am newly experiencing that on fire feeling 24-7, as i type this it feels as tho some one is squeezing my top right shoulder an holding a torch to it at same time an if I use arm to pick anything up or try to stretch it brings me to tears. I am also newly experiencing a numb lower lip only half (on left side). I know I prob sound like a hypochondriac /pill head. I WISH my problems were that simply diagnosed. As I read many other messages here of people experiencing the same things as I am it eased my mind alittle, I am not crazy.... I feel for each an every one of you. Does anyone else experience what I have tried to correctly explain? I am calling doc first thing Tuesday an no sense going to ER all they can do is a shot an say go to doc, but til then does anyone know what this debilitating fire tearing ripping feeling in my muscle could be??? Hope someone can tell me a little information on this an may e away to control pain vs taking another handful of pain meds. , but if it does get worse I maybe in ER before Tuesday. Thanx in advance for any help u may have.
    Ginger
  • After surgery with my headaches. I felt like it worse than before surgery. I think I have something more going on now also. My left hand keeps going all tingly and falling asleep, my legs feel like bricks but nothing more is wrong with my neck. My former PT said that it was all muscle yet. Unfortunately, I am now done with physical therapy and I am going downhill fast, My neurologist thinks I should try botox shots in my neck, Nope! Not happening.
    Tracie C
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