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A 34-year-old member asked:

I am having decompression surgery for chiari type i soon. i am curious whether the pain is similar to spinal tap, or bacterial meningitis?

3 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Stacey Wolfe
Neurosurgery 20 years experience
Surgical Pain: Post-operative pain following a suboccipital decompression for chiari is usually due to mobilization of the suboccipital and paraspinal muscles and can be controlled with analgesics such as narcotics, tylenol (acetaminophen) and nsaids. Meningitic pain can occur from chemical irritation. You should discuss these questions with your surgeon to develop a treatment plan before surgery.
Dr. Larry Armstrong
Neurosurgery 27 years experience
Not the same : Chiari decompression hurts the back of the head and neck pretty significantly for a few days postop. This will improve after a few days as you get up and around. Medication helps a lot. Your need for medication will diminish as you recover. Good luck.
Dr. Andrew Kaufman
Neurosurgery 56 years experience
Neither: Are you referring to the pain of the surgery or the symptoms of the chiari 1? In any event, neither will be similar to a spinal tap or bacterial meningitis.

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016

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