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Craniotomy-Headaches from loose screws
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Craniotomy-Headaches from loose screws

Hi,

My mother had a brain tumor removed in 1995 and had surgery 3 times after that for radiation necrosis at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.  The operations were on the frontal lobe both right and left side.  She is doing well with minimal losses, only slight weakness on her right side, but walking, talking and . However after her past surgery she has been getting major headaches which have a clicking noise according to her.  Even after three surgeries she never had headaches like these, she even had a seizure a month after the fourth surgery.  

Her Neurosurgen thinks that the headaches and clicking noise are due to possibility that one of the screws attached to the bone flap may be loose.  He doesnt think that it is simply due to the surgeries.  I was wondering what others may think about this.  We have had the surgery done by the same doctor all four times, and knowing that my mother has not lost much functions has made us believe that he is very articulate about his patients well being.  

He wants to do surgery again to remove the screws and stich up the skull thinking that is the reason for the headaches.  Can I have some opinions on this?  Thanks
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657231_tn?1390151580
Do you think there is any harm in getting another opinion (from another hospital)?

That should set your mind at ease.
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I know this is a year late.  But I just had a craniotomy.  I heard and felt two popping sounds in my head and have had headaches and swelling since then.  I went to the ER but they just told me to go back to the neurologist.  They did do an MRI, and told me that I had fluid built up and an air pocket.  I don't want to have surgery again.  But I guess if that is all that will help.
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657231_tn?1390151580
They probably want to put in a shunt that will drain the fluid. It will relieve the pressure and take away the pain.
It is not an uncommon surgery nor an uncommon thing, but ask the doctor specifics to put your mind at ease.
Let us know what happens.
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I had a craniotomy 16 years ago and shortly afterwards I felt there was a screw loose.  Turns out there was.  Surgery was performed years later to fix things.  I get rare days where there is no pain and when it is severe, the only thing I can do is lay still with an ice pack in a dark room with little sound and hope for sleep; it is rough.  The other day I cracked my head accidentally right where the bone flap was removed and replaced;  since then the pain has changed and worsened.  I am worried that I have fractured this area or caused it harm in some way.  I have searched the web for similar cases with this concern or experience to no avail.
I understand the pain and sympathize with your Mother.
I hope she is doing well.  Arnica Montana would be a good idea, considering she has had many surgeries, this will help with soft tissue damage even afterwards although in many countries, Surgeons give it to their patients before surgery.  Also, I would suggest a second opinion.

Good luck and if anyone knows of any others out there wondering if their bone flaps are loose or other 'parts' please let me know.
Doctors seem to be hesitant about the possibility of what I am suggesting even though the loose screw was proven years ago..
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