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Severe post op headaches after chiari surg

Is it normal to have sever pounding headaches after a chiari decompression with duraplasty surgery? Please help, mine are horrible..
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Avatar universal
I had a second decompression on 5/18.

(C1/C2 laminectomy, larger  craniotomy, and duraplasty. Prior was only a small crainotomy and a small piece of C1 removed)

I’m having those types of headaches daily. Severe pounding - location ranges from the back of my head, top op of my head, to my temples and behind me eyes. Any type of activity seems to increase them.  Going to dr tomorrow to have staples removed and to find out about these headaches. I’ve also been having a little lightheadedness.
4 Comments
Hi topherlee80- had no idea you went for a second surgery, I pray the headaches prove to be little more then healing itself....I know we do have  all sorts of new pain crop up as we heal.....CSF leaks can occur if we over do it....so do rest up and listen to your body. All the best at your next Dr visit.
Thank you!
So almost a month post op (
5/18), and I’m back in the hospital.

After getting tired of my neurosurgeon’s APN telling my the headaches were normal because I had “major painful surgery” I decided to schedule an appointment with my NS vs APN. I described what was going on and she said it sounded like my pressure was to high and send me to ER for MRI and a lumbar puncture to measure opening pressure.

It averaged 22mm, which was higher than she was comfortable with and I’ve also developed meningitis of currently an unknown origin (admitted 6/11), so far it’s come back negative for viral but waiting on cultures for bacterial (said it could take 72 hours since I was already on antibiotics,

Infectious disease dr ive been seeing I’m hospital said it will come down to a diagnosis of elimination as to the cause.

It’s also a possibility that it’s due to the bovine pericardium dural patch used. And if so, I’ve been advised that they will have to remove it. Has anyone also experienced this?

Also, they’re doing a series of lumbar punctures (spinal tap) today and another Friday with a “large gauge needle. Their hope is the high pressure will self correct after “punching a couple large holes.” If that doesn’t work, she said she will have to install a shunt. Can anyone who has has that done chime in here? Experience, etc.?

Also, has anyone had increased pressure after decompression and what did your DR do to address?

Sorry for the lengthy post and all the questions. Just feeling a little frustrated and down. I know I have to remain positive but recovery has been a beast this tome!
Hi...there have been many members have an issue similar to yours in that they developed high pressure and had shunts.....but I am a firm believer that the patch can cause an increase in pressure if your body is rejecting the patch....your body increases the amount of CSF it produces to "wash" away the foreign matter (patch) and too many Drs try the shunt before replacing the patch with one of the patients own tissue.

No need to apologize, sending prayers for answers and a speedy recovery.
620923 tn?1452915648
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

Headaches are quite common....but there are questions I need to ask....how long post op are you? Are these headaches positional..meaning do they worsen upon standing, sitting from lying position or worse when lying down?

What are you doing on a daily basis? Are you still on pain meds?

Do you have any fluids draining at the incision site?
1 Comments
Sorry missed this response. Surgery was 5/18. They worsen usually after any activity - getting up and laying down I have to do so slowly to avoid pain.

Once I’m laying down I do have some slight relief.

I have some Norco and Tylenol 3, but they don’t touch the headache. I have been using some Prodrin from from my neurologist, and it helps take off the edge but not eliminate pain.

While I’ve been in the hospital I’ve been taking dilaudid and fioricet and it has helped with the pain.

The spinal taps (4 in the last week) have helped remove some excess cfs and thah has helped too.

MRI last Monday showed a 15x16x55mm collection of fluid at surgical site. They did another MRI yesterday to see if there has been any change.
Avatar universal
So fun times over here. I ended up having viral meningitis. Been in the hospital for 8 days, but finally feeling a bit better.

After 4 spinal taps, my opening pressure has been high. The last two used large gauge needle to “punch a large hole” to help drain off some excess fluid.

My neurosurgeon said that I’ll have to have a shunt because the pressure isn’t regulating correctly, but won’t do so until the meningitis is cleared.

Does anyone have experience with shunts? If so, I’d love to hear of your experience. TIA!
2 Comments
So sorry to hear all you are going through...and sending prayers for a speedy recovery. I personally do not have any experience with shunts....but I know a few members here have....I am sure they will reply.
Thank you!!!
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