I had a single level ACDF 9 days ago that went really badly (I know some of you have seen my posts about that already), and I've had a lot of problems with pain management. It's been a truly awful week. One of my biggest issues is that I keep getting headaches. They started in the hospital, and were one of the reasons I was in there for three days despite only having a single level fusion. They gave me a one-time dose of Toradol, which fixed it immediately, but after it wore off the headaches came right back and they wouldn't give me anymore since NSAIDs inhibit the fusion process. In the end they couldn't help the headaches, and just sent me home from the hospital saying that I could continue to take Tylenol and caffeine and suffer through the headaches. I don't get migraines normally, and this seems to be related to the extreme muscle tension caused by the ACDF surgery.
I've spoken to my surgeon about it several times, and they just want me to keep trying muscle relaxers and the low dose of percocet they sent me home with. This helps some, but it's not stopping the headaches. I really wish I could just take some Advil, because I know that works for me if I ever end up with a headache, but I can't take that. I've tried all the other non-medication things too like heat/ice/rest/dark rooms, and so forth, but none of that helps. My whole neck is just one giant spasm that goes up into my head. I know we can't give medical advice, but I don't even know what else I might ask my surgeon about maybe trying. Did anyone else have this happen to them? What did you do? Are there drugs I should be asking about that might help with this? I just feel awful constantly and I don't want to end up back in the E.R. from another migraine that won't go away.