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anterior cervical and fusion

Molly DMMolly D Posts: 1
edited 09/11/2015 - 7:46 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
hello, i'm a 53 year old female. one month ago i had anterior cervical discectomy and fusion on c5 & 6. surgery seems to have been successful in relieving pain in my left arm and hand although i now have new pain in my neck accompanied with the most severe, crippling headaches i've ever experienced. these headaches are similar to migraines but more intense. relief is almost impossible. my post-op follow up appointment isn't for 2 more weeks. i've taken a narcotic pain reliever which was prescribed to me after my surgery with little or no relief for the headaches. they start in the base of my skull radiating to my forehead and eyes with nausea. i've also taken every otc pain reliever available with no relief. the headaches seem to lessen throughout the day but return with a vengeance during the night. i'm also having some difficulty swallowing almost as if there's a blockage of some type in my esophagus along with hoarseness in my voice. i was told this would occur for a short time post surgery. my main concern are the headaches with no mention at all prior to surgery with this being a possible side effect. is there anyone else in this forum who has experienced these type of headaches? if yes, please share your story with me.

thank you,
molly d.

welcome to spine-health

one of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. it is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. this is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

so many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. the more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, the fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

here are some questions that you should answer:
  • - when did this first start? . year, your age, etc
- was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- what doctors have you seen? (orthopedic, neurosurgeon, spine specialist, etc)
  • . which doctor did you start with? ie primary care physician . who are you currently seeing?
- what conservative treatments have you had? which ones?
  • . physical therapy . ultrasound / tens unit . spinal injections . acupuncture . massage therapy
- what diagnostic tests have you had? and their results (mri, ctscan, xray, emg, etc)
  • . summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them . how many different tests have you had over the years? similar results?
- what medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
  • . name of medication . how long have you been using this? . results
- has surgery been discussed as an option? (if so, what kind)
- is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- what is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

please take a look at our forum rules: forum rules

i also strongly suggest that you take a look at our faq (frequently asked questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to faq there you will find much information that will
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please remember that no one at spine-health is a formally trained medical professional.
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what could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
you should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

it is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). it is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

i’ve had this for years, it hurts, i cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should i get?

diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. in many ways it’s like a game of clue. especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. the doctor is like a detective. they need clues to help them move along. so, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. that is like it is here. without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

specific comments :

personal opinion, not medical advice :

--- ron dilauro, spine-health system moderator : 09/11/15 13:46 est



  • When I researched it, they were called cervicogenic headaches. You're right, they wouldn't respond to pain killers at all. The one I remembered lasted 3 days. Mine reached around the head like yours did, and ended with feeling like an ice pick was in my eye socket.
    I don't remember being able to do anything about it, and I don't remember how far after surgery it was. If it continues, I'd definitely contact your doctor.
    Are you on a muscle relaxant?

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

  • Ice packs to the neck and base of skull always helped my cervicogenic headaches. I believe the nerves in neck get very inflamed so ice helps bring the inflammation down. If they are horrible I do an ice pack to the neck and one on my forehead. Hope you get some relief. I know how horrible these headaches can be.
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