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A 47-year-old member asked:

I am having terrible headaches after a anterior cervical discectomy plus spinal fusion. related?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 40 years experience
It may be related: Especially if the headache is positional -worse when up and about and better when lying down suggesting there may be a leak of spinal fluid from a dural tear. The dura is the outer layer of the spinal cord and this tear is a risk of surgery. See your surgeon. Other reasons could include muscular v medication v another disc issue.
Dr. Douglas Linville II
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 30 years experience
Collar: If you are wearing a c collar after surgery, take it off. These often keep the neck in a very uncomfortable position that may cause spasms and headache. Narcotics may also result in muscle tension headaches: Percocet is bad about this. Wean pain meds or try different one (no nsaids as they block bony healing). Some gentle stretching may also help. Discuss with your surgeon if not better.

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A 47-year-old member asked:

I am having terrible headaches after a anterior cervical discectomy plus spinal fusion. Related?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 40 years experience
It may be related: Especially if the headache is positional -worse when up and about and better when lying down suggesting there may be a leak of spinal fluid from a dural tear. The dura is the outer layer of the spinal cord and this tear is a risk of surgery. See your surgeon. Other reasons could include muscular v medication v another disc issue.
A 48-year-old member asked:

I am having terrible headaches after undergoing a anterior cervical discectomy plus spinal fusion? What should I do

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kent
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 12 years experience
If upper level: Fusions, find an interventional pain dr and discuss the possibility of trying some interventional techniques from trigger points to greater and third occipital nerve blocks which may help greatly with these headaches. Headaches after these surgeries can also be related to cervical paraspinal spasms, so make sure your muscles are not contributing and consider further physical therapy. Best of luck!
Dr. David Trettin
Orthopedic Surgery 33 years experience
See your surgeon and discuss your symptoms w/ him or her.Not sure how long post- op you are but headaches are not uncommon in the immediate post- operative period.persistent headaches are not normal and may indicate a post- operative complication or dural leak.
Jan 26, 2014

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Last updated Jun 30, 2014

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