Author Topic: Headaches post op  (Read 1465 times)

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Headaches post op
« on: August 14, 2013, 09:43:21 AM »
Hi all,

I had my THR 6 days ago and have been suffering headaches ever since. Over the last 2 days the headaches have become quite severe and have stared from the moment I wake in the morning. I had a spinal block and it has been suggested that sometimes as a result of this, spinal fluid can leak for a number of weeks after causing headaches and that a treatment for this is to go back to hospital for a blood patch.

I was just wondering whether anyone else has had this problem or if anyone knows of any other possible reasons for my headaches!  :'(

Thanks, Anna
RTHR - 08/08/2013 -Mr johan witt, London


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Re: Headaches post op
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2013, 10:13:40 AM »
Hi Anna!

Sorry you've got headaches, but apparently it is a possible byproduct of a spinal block.

I found this reference:


Its main point is:

"A spinal headache can occur as a result of a procedure such as a spinal tap (lumbar puncture) or epidural block (such as that performed during a woman's labor and delivery). In these procedures, a needle is placed within the fluid-filled space surrounding the spinal cord. This creates a passage for the spinal fluid to leak out, changing the fluid pressure around the brain and spinal cord. If enough of the fluid leaks out, a spinal headache may develop.

Because the design of spinal needles has been improved, spinal headaches after a spinal tap or administration of spinal anesthesia are rare. When epidural anesthetics are placed with a larger needle than that used for spinal anesthetics, however, the likelihood of headache is higher if the epidural needle should inadvertently pass through the dura matter (covering of the spinal cord)."

It usually lasts about five days from the onset.

The suggested ways of treating them is hydration, since the cause is a difference in pressure in your brain due to loss of some fluid. So they suggest:

"The first course of treatment for spinal headaches involves supplying adequate hydration to try to increase cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) pressure. Sometimes intravenous fluids (fluids administered into the veins) are given; other times the person is advised to drink a beverage high in caffeine. Strict bed rest for 24-48 hours may be recommended."

The best thing to do might be to call the surgeon's office and ask what they suggest. At the least, load up on fluids and see how that goes.

Good luck Anna... how's the hip?
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder


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Re: Headaches post op
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2013, 10:28:09 AM »
Hey, thanks Hern.

That's basically the advice I was given .... but I was told it could last up to 5 weeks!!  :'(  I have been drinking so much water since yesterday but it's just got worse. I have just spoken to my GP who advised to drink coke so I'm on that now. Its just worrying that its getting worse rather than better. I have emailed my surgeon just now for advice so lets see what he says.

Otherwise, I'm pretty happy with the hip at present. I'm noticing small improvements everyday. I even managed to roll onto my good side with a pillow between my legs last night (I tried the night before but couldn't do it!) and I'm keeping up with the physio and icing  ;)

RTHR - 08/08/2013 -Mr johan witt, London


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Re: Headaches post op
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2013, 05:27:38 PM »
Hey Anna,,

Hernanu's post summed it pretty well. I do alot of spinal taps in my practice and with the newer blunted needles we dont cause as many post spinal headaches but with epidurals it has a higher risk for post spinal headaches.

In my experience with these headaches they can go on for a while and getting a blood patch seems to shorten the duration quite significantly. Your surgeon would not be doing that but that would be the anesthesiologist. Alot of times they will give you a way to get in touch with them if you have problems so not sure if you have their number.

Hydration and ibuprofen is all you can do until you talk to your doctor. I hope you get some relief soon. good luck



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Re: Headaches post op
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2013, 04:38:15 AM »
Thanks Eman. I think you have hit the nail on the head. I am trying to get something sorted!

RTHR - 08/08/2013 -Mr johan witt, London



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