Hi, I hope some of you can shed some light on this subject. I am having surgery in the next month-anterior cervical spine surgery-C4-5, C5-6 with complete removal of the discs, fusion and plating. The doctor will also be hopefully realigning a vertebrae at one of those levels that is pretty much out of alignment. About 16 months ago, I very quickly stood STRAIGHT up into a 14 inch horizontal huge branch coming out of a tree in my backyard while building a rock garden not once, but twice in one week. It sounds really stupid, but I was working out there for days, and I already have bad arthritis in my back and some in my neck, so I was taking frequent breaks by standing up and stretching. I would stand up without looking where I was, and twice I was right under that low branch. I saw stars and dropped to the ground. Everyting felt like it jammed or compressed. I went to my family doctor, and he pretty much blew the whole thing off and did the reflex testing, which was already pretty bad anyway because of my arthritis. He said I probably just "sprained my whole spine" but that I was o.k. He never sent me for an xray or anything. By the way, I am a 53 year old very, very active, fit female, and even with my osteoarthritis, I have always managed to stay out of back surgery by walking almost 4 miles every day to keep my back muscles strong so they scaffold my spine, and I take lodeine twice a day for inflammation. I didn't want arthritis to slow me down at such a young age, especially because I am so active. I was diagnosed with DJD (osteoarthritis) at age 44, same as my Mom, and she is now 84, but in really bad shape with her arthritis, BUT she's always been overweight, and that won't be me!!!! Anyway, right after my injury I started to get very bad migraine headaches. I've always had chronic headaches, probably from the arthritis, but nothing like this, and actually my neck never really gave me much trouble-not like my back did. The headaches got progressively worse after the tree accident-they went from 1-2 a week, to 2-3 a week, etc., and around Christmastime of this past year I started getting them almost every single day!!!!! Unbearable. I went to my family doctor immediately after that first visit 16 months ago, and told him about the migraines starting. He didn't think they had anything to do with hitting my head into the huge tree branch-it made no sense to me, he thought it was just a coincidence because I have always had headaches. I explained that these were 100 times worse and I thought I needed to get my head checked out by a neurologist and he disagreed and put me on topamax and relpax. Topamax to fend the headaches off (which hasn't helped, and relpax to get rid of the headache at onset) I had asked him repeatedly for 15 months if he thought I needed to see a neurologist because the headaches just weren't getting better while he was fooling around with dosing, and he kept sayng I didn't have any neurological symptoms like slurred speech of numbness. I needed his referral and I figured he knew what he was talking about, but I finally had had it, and insisted a month ago when I was at wits end one day with a migraine. Well, sure enough the MRI showed a huge herniation at the C4-5 level and the disc is torn with material from inside also pressing on my spinal cord, protruding disc atC5-6 pressing on cord, and a vertebrae out of alignment and bone spurs. The level above and below those levels are also buldged out, but the doctor doesn't think they are bad enough to touch now. He actually isn't positve that this neck problem is causing the migraines!!!!!!!!! How can it not be?? If I still have the headaches after the surgery, he is going to send me for a scan of my head. That is the opinion of my Neurosurgeon-he just isn't sure. But, when I went to the Neurologist, the migraine specialist there thinks there is a very good chance the migraines are being caused by the neck problem.She immediately put me on the muscle relaxant Zanaflex, and it has relaxed my muscles in my neck, shoulders and upper back and helped the frequency of my headaches. It's amazing that different doctors have so many different views on this. I hope the migraine specialist will be correct, because she is the specialist.She thinks that all the awful prolems in my neck could be causing all that tension and pressure, etc.As I said before, even though I did get a lot of headaches in the past, they were nothing like this, I think those were just stress headaches from everyday stresses because I am high strung. I never needed strong medichine for them.
After this ridiculously long entry, I guess I just want to know if anyone out there had bad migraines resulting from their neck problems, and did they go away after surgery. If so, how long after surgery? Sorry for the length of this entry. I'm bored and scared waiting for my surgery.Thanks for listening.