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mel333 05-27-2003 10:55 PM

anyone: headaches helped by surgery c5/6
Hi everyone,

I am having surgery 15th July with the artificial Bryan cervical disc unless they decide in there to do a fusion. I have an annular tear at 5/6 and get head, neck,shoulder and arm pain.
I wondered whether anyone has the horrid disc headaches that make you sick to the stomach and had them eased by their fusion? I would be really interested to hear any thoughts, experiemce or comments.

Midge130 05-28-2003 06:03 AM

Hey Mel,
I haven't had my surgery yet, but I'm hoping that it will take care of my migraines that I've had for 5 yrs. So here's to NO HEADACHES!!!

-Born a premie in 1964-8 wks early
-C-section 1990
-C-section 1992
-C-section 1995
-Shoulder pain since 2000
-C4-C5 bone spurs causing central canal stenosis. Annular tear.
-C5-C6 mild narrowing of canal.
-C6-C7 disc bone spur and annular tear.
-C7-T1 bone spur and annular tear.
-Myelogram 6-5-03
-Surgery-unknown yet, probably in 7-03

Memer 05-28-2003 06:16 AM

Hi Mel,

I had nighttime (sleep) headaches prior to surgery. The NS said they were probably due to the spinal cord compression and something about blockage of CSF fluid (one of the herniations was large and blocked the CSF quite a bit, I guess). He said the pain is the body's way of telling us to move. I would have to get up out of bed and wait for about an hour for the headache to go away. I didn't get much sleep before surgery.

After surgery, I now take a med to help me sleep, along with Vicodin and Neurontin during the day. I don't wake up in pain until the med starts wearing off. I have only had one sleep headache since surgery, and that was the other day. It lasted for many hours after I woke up. Since I've only had one, it may not have been related to my neck, but it did feel exactly the same, just lasted longer than usual.

I have not had any shocks going down my arms or any tingling since the surgery. I still have the same pain in my arm and neck, though. I've had pain for years, and they tell me it may take a while for the nerves to heal and that the pain, to some degree, may be permanent. At this point, I'm not accepting the "permanent" part. I'm doing everything recommended.

My NS told me that most people get complete pain relief after surgery but that chronic pain can take a while to get better. I can't remember your story (sorry). I do try to remember each member's situation here, but it's hard. I hope you are not one of the chronic sufferers. In either regard, we have hope.

One thing that would work for me at night (but my husband hated) was propping myself up on several pillows and lying on my back. If I did that, the headaches weren't so bad. Hope that will help you.

[This message has been edited by Memer (edited 08-04-2003).]

LMJ 05-28-2003 04:00 PM


I used to get really bad headaches that I attributed to sinus pressure, which became more frequent as my C5-C6 condition worsened. When I got the same headache follwing my surgery, a nurse said it was probably a "spinal headache" and told me to drink lots of caffiene. Within two days (begging for iced tea all the while) the headache was gone and I've not had one since. I'm now three weeks post-op and pray that I'm cured of that particular demon. I hope you have the same luck.

Lisa J. :wave:

mel333 06-01-2003 01:14 AM

Hi everyone,

Midge, hope you stay headache free and I'm glad to hear that surgery helped.
Memer, I do have chronic pain due to a car accident 7 years ago and pain worsoning in the last 3. So for me it is my last resort as the arm pain is worsoning.
Thanks for your help and I hope you are doing ok.
Lisa, caffenine does help me and I take a migrane tablet called cafergot sometimes when the headaches are shocking.
I hear that alot of people with cervical disc problems are helped by ACDF and so I hope to hear from more people here.
I find the headaches the worst part!

KeithEugeneW 06-01-2003 09:59 AM


That's cool about you getting (possibly) the Bryan artificial disc. I've read a lot about them. I'll be very interested to hear how that works out for you. Like you I have those horrible migraines, woke up with one today as a matter of fact. I have my disc bulging roblems at C5-6 and C6-7, so I strongly believe that C5-6 is a migraine generator just by the consensus on this board. My migraines went away while I was on neurontin until toward the end. I had to give up neurontin due to the constant escallation of dosage in order to maintain the effect. If ACDF or artificial disc replacement at C5-6 puts an end to the migraines caused by a bulging disc at that level, I may have to try to convince my surgeon to reconsider and do the ACDF on me that he had originally considered. He doesn't want to operate on me now due to the sad state of all the rest of my cervical discs, says I'll be back almost annually for more surgery for several years if he does. Good luck, I'm excited that you finally are getting help! :D

nabrown 02-14-2004 04:26 AM

Re: anyone: headaches helped by surgery c5/6
I have been having frequent migraines since '01 - never more than 3 wks. apart and as close as 2-3 per wk. - physical activity usually brought them on - never knew it was my dics until Nov, 03, went to ER because I came off the Neurontin which caused so many side effects - got bronchitis and coughed so hard, it aggravated the dics - have now had MRI/MRA of brain and spinal column - bulging disc at C5,6 into the foraminal cavity, at 8 mm - with muscle relaxers, and now Levipro, I am off the Valium (given to me for the headaches, pain), so I am headed to see the NS this week. Does it sound like I am a candidate for surgery? Any suggestions of which bone to use? I would prefer donor bone due to low degenerative discs in lower back (not too bad right now) - please let me know your thoughts.

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