Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

advertisement

Quick Start Forum Video Tutorial

    Forum-Tutorial-Screenshot
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.
advertisement

We're building a better forum experience with you in mind. Beginning June 26, 2019, all Veritas Health forums will move to forum.veritashealth.com.

Learn More

Headaches after ACDF

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. 
advertisement

Comments

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,454
    Songlin,

    Its really not that uncommon to have some big time headaches after an ACDF surgery.  Normally, that would or should be associated with the post surgical pain situation, cause you are not into the recovery phase at this point.

    Since NSAIDS is out of the question, Tylenol is your only real choice.   I am not sure what the recommended dosage is per day, but check that out.  Along with that, as you mentioned caffeine.  My stomach couldn't handle a lot of coffee in one day, but coke or pepsi did help with my headaches.   I also started chewing raw ginger about 4 times a day (piece the size of a half of egg) and drinking 4 oz of Braggs Raw Apple Cider (with the mother)   All that helped me, but the headache really never went away.

    I am dealing with the headache situation right now.  Since I can not have any product with NSAID 1 week prior to surgery, I've been doing the above,.  The headache is there , never goes away, but those things make it tolerable.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • SongJinSSongJin Arizona Posts: 287
    edited 03/20/2016 - 4:28 AM

    dilauro said:

    Songlin,

    Its really not that uncommon to have some big time headaches after an ACDF surgery.  Normally, that would or should be associated with the post surgical pain situation, cause you are not into the recovery phase at this point.

    Since NSAIDS is out of the question, Tylenol is your only real choice.   I am not sure what the recommended dosage is per day, but check that out.  Along with that, as you mentioned caffeine.  My stomach couldn't handle a lot of coffee in one day, but coke or pepsi did help with my headaches.   I also started chewing raw ginger about 4 times a day (piece the size of a half of egg) and drinking 4 oz of Braggs Raw Apple Cider (with the mother)   All that helped me, but the headache really never went away.

    I am dealing with the headache situation right now.  Since I can not have any product with NSAID 1 week prior to surgery, I've been doing the above,.  The headache is there , never goes away, but those things make it tolerable.

    That's my issue is that Tylenol does absolutely NOTHING for me, pain wise. I may as well be eating Skittles for all they do. I don't mind drinking caffeine, but that doesn't do anything for these crippling migraines. It just seems like there's got to be something else, but I don't know what else to do. I literally spent all day in bed again and nearly went to the E.R.
  • advertisement
  • SongJinSSongJin Arizona Posts: 287
    Actually perhaps a better question to ask is what muscle relaxers have people here tried that have been the most effective? I'm convinced most of the headaches are from the muscle spasms. Valium is already a stronger muscle relaxer, but it's obviously not working well. Flexeril and Robaxin also didn't work for me. Has anyone on here tried ones that were especially effective that I could at least ask my surgeon about trying instead?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,454
    I answered this one in your other thread
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • No_No_No_YesNNo_No_No_Yes Sacramento Ca.Posts: 24
    My X has had migraines for years and has had pretty good success with fiorcet (Butalbital, acetaminophen & caffeine), it isn't  as easy on your organs as Tylenol but it sounds as if your situation is a bit desperate and perhaps short term it would at least give you some relief. Sorry you seem to be having such an awful experience, I hope this gets better for you soon.
  • advertisement
  • SongJinSSongJin Arizona Posts: 287


    My X has had migraines for years and has had pretty good success with fiorcet (Butalbital, acetaminophen & caffeine), it isn't  as easy on your organs as Tylenol but it sounds as if your situation is a bit desperate and perhaps short term it would at least give you some relief. Sorry you seem to be having such an awful experience, I hope this gets better for you soon.

    I've never heard of that before--I'm assuming it's not an OTC medication?
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,270
    I too had good success for a time with fiorecet for my migraines..years ago.
    I needed a script. But it didn't have codeine..it was as stated above.

    My only problem was taking it too often to continue functioning, that I started to have rebound headaches.
    But I did take it for years.

    Not sure if it would be effective for your type of headaches, but doesn't hurt to ask.
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SongJinSSongJin Arizona Posts: 287

    Savage said:

    I too had good success for a time with fiorecet for my migraines..years ago.
    I needed a script. But it didn't have codeine..it was as stated above.

    My only problem was taking it too often to continue functioning, that I started to have rebound headaches.
    But I did take it for years.

    Not sure if it would be effective for your type of headaches, but doesn't hurt to ask.

    Yeah I have a follow-up appointment finally on Wednesday, and I feel like if I'm not prepared with the right questions I end up missing key information that is really hard to get later! I'm almost to the two week mark, and I just wish I was feeling any better at all! 
advertisement
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.