Aa
A
A
A
Close
Chiari Malformation Community
5.2k Members
Avatar universal

Chiari surgery- occipital nerve severed?

Question: on FB Just saw someone posted that the reason so many have severe pain after Chiari surgery is because occipital nerve was severed during surgery.  Is this true?  First I've seen that.
8 Responses
620923 tn?1452919248
COMMUNITY LEADER

  Hi...I can imagine it  could be a reason some have this issue, but not all....there r many NS's that  r not well experienced with chiari doing these surgeries ....

  Chances this will happen will be lessened with a more experienced NS.

But I do not feel this is the biggest or most prevalent reason for post op pain...some end up with Drs that removed too much or too little bone...both will cause pain...some end up with issues like undx'd tethered cord or ehlers-danlos and they cause issues during recovery.....and  lastly it can just be the way that persons body responded to surgery and the meds.

  Research ur Drs is the best advice I can give.

    "selma"
Avatar universal
The entire right back side of my head was totally numb for months following surgery. The NS said is was just temporary from the occipital and other nerves being moved around and inflamed, etc. from surgery and that it would get much better in time. My PCP suggested that my occipital nerve may have been cut so that really got me worrying. I then asked my Neurologist on my follow up visit. She said that in this type of very precise surgery it would be highly unusual for that to happen as all NS's know where that nerve is and can see it plain as day during surgery. She then went on to say that if he had cut it it would likely be in the surgical report and others in the OR would have known it happened. She also said to stop worrying and wait and see. Guess what? I should have had faith in my NS from the start because it did very gradually get better and the numbness has VERY slowly started to fade. I am about a year out now and I would say it is almost back to normal. As my NS reminded me, everyone is different because of how and where bone is removed and the path they take to get there. I have a very small, thin neck to begin with and had terrible constriction at the base of the skull. So, it stands to reason that the nerves took quite a beating getting moved out of the way and dealing with all the post surgical inflamed tissue.  I hope this helps!

Jen
620923 tn?1452919248
COMMUNITY LEADER

  This is sooooo true Jenn thanks for posting this, but my Drs did tell me it can take up to 2 yrs for the nerves to heal.....we r all diff and heal at diff rates and may have other issues masking the healing process with pain from those other issues.

Recovery can be a very slow process and we have to be patient and follow our Drs advice on  what we should and should not do during this time.

   "selma"
Avatar universal
Hello,

I am new to the thread so thanks for this. Here's the deal. I had the decompression surgery last July. Since then the pressure in the back of my head has been pretty rough. I also have weakness/tingling in all four limbs. Recently I have had a "lump" in my throat.....what can be causing all these things? It seems I am worse off
620923 tn?1452919248
COMMUNITY LEADER

  Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

I am so sorry to hear u feel worse off post op then b4, but this can be an indication that something else is happening...it can be a few different things, so I am going to ask a few questions.

Did u have a full decompression with lamenectomy and dura plasty?
Were u checked for related conditions to Chiari?

When was ur post op MRI? Do u expect to have one for ur one yr post op anniversary?

Did u inform ur NS about how u r feeling?...what was his/her reply?
1759188 tn?1324681908
  funny to see this about opcipital nerve. i haven't been on in awhile alot has happened, i am seeing dr. katz at boston medical  he did some test one of them beeing a word, and picture test, and the diagnoisis  was opcipital nerve damage.  while i was taking the test the dr. knew what the jolts in my head were  and then i came home and looked it up  and sure as the sun there it was was the jolt due to opcipital nerve damage. it gives off alot of the same effects as chiari. i did have a 7mm  chiari. after surgery i had alot of pain on my left side and i had a bump there a few times and the dr's said i had to heal. next time i see him i am going to ask him if it was due to the surgery. after seeing dr. katz i don't feel crazy anymore. i went because of my memory and it is because of the opcipital
620923 tn?1452919248
COMMUNITY LEADER

  Thanks for sharing this update with us as it may help someone else with similar issues.

Do keep us posted as to how they plan to treat this for u : )
1759188 tn?1324681908
  also t the tingling of the arms and finger he said was due to this  i find it amazing how many of the traits these both have and how the opcipital effects you after surgery
Have an Answer?
Top Neurology Answerers
620923 tn?1452919248
Allentown, PA
987762 tn?1331031553
Australia
1756321 tn?1547098925
Queensland, Australia
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease