I just had the Surgery

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Here is my recent experience with the posterior fossa decompression with the dura opening surgery I just had a week ago. Please let me know if your experiences were similar or different and if how long it took before your post op pain went away and began noticing that your chiari pain had been relieved...thanks everyone

My surgery was a Posterior Fossa Decompression with the opening of the dura. I was completely unconscious and my surgery took about 5 hours by the neurosurgeon and his team at Northwestern University in Chicago. They opened up the dura, took off some of my cranium by my foramen magnum, and the back of my C1 vertebrae. My neurosurgeon performs about 10-15 of these per year and has done them for about 15 years. Plus, it’s really the preliminary moves to bigger operations they do in this area of the neck, spine, and cranium, so he has prolly done some of these types of operations even more times to treat other things. He said my surgery went perfectly as planned, and that I should have now plenty of room for my CSF fluid to flow uninterrupted.

My post op pain was absolutely incredible. It was like I got hit by a bat in the back of the head by babe Ruth. Within a few hours my pain was more under control. I was on Norco, Valium, tramadol, and within a couple hours they brought me an IV drip so that I could push a button and deliver myself a dose of diluadid. It seriously knocked me on my ass the first day. However, the second day and the third day in the hospital got better and better. First day, I couldn’t really move at all I was that weak. Second day I got out of bed (severe headaches when going from laying down to sitting up for about 30 seconds), then I would slowly walk with my brother or nurse or wife thru the halls of the ICU or neuro step down floor. Then, by Friday afternoon I showered up and they released me.

They gave me a script for Valium and Norco to take as needed. I take them through out the day because my head and neck still ache but nothing near what I felt on day 1 post op. My brother asked me if a bear walked in would I be able to get up and run away, and I said nope I would be the bears dinner, that’s how weak I was that first day.

I also learned that loud noises and loud talking especially by the nursing and transport crews made my head hurt even worse so I had to ask a few times for them to whisper in my room.

I am now home since Friday the 11th, and everyone is asking me if I feel better. I am still in pain primarily due to my post op (I have like 25 stitches in the back of my head) and where my original pain was that made me want the surgery is in pretty much the same area where all my stitches are so I would imagine I’ll have to wait for everything to calm down first before I really can tell how much I improved. 

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  • Posted

    Blackhawk, my 13 year old daughter had the same surgery as you. What you described is exactly as she described the experience and as we witnessed her recovery.  The only difference was that she vomited many times on the first day - which was horrible as it significantly increased her pain. It is interesting that you mentioned the pain increase due to loud noises as I've never seen that mentioned before.  It took a day or two before she wanted the TV to be turned on due to the noise.  A tip to you is stay away from lifting heavy objects for awhile. I wish you well.  

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    • Posted

      My heart breaks to hear that she had the same surgery as me, and knowing how bad that was for me I could only imagine how she must have felt being nauseous and vomiting...it must have been horrible. Just on that alone, I know how tough your little girl really is...there is no doubt in my mind that she’s a tough girl.
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  • Posted

    Hello mate,

    All well known...rest a lot..avoid croud places ..listen to your body..i am already 2 months post op...my jaws does not hurt so much anymore. They were tight..although i had many symptoms..still have some..time will show..if you have a severe head pain that doesnt go away with painkillers call your doctor

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply and experience! Taking it easy is hard because I feel good enough to get up and move around despite the headaches and I want to accomplish stuff around the house, but I am forcing myself to stop all my projects and everything. I just had my brother in law come over to clean my gutters and use the seeder to spread insect killer into the lawns, which were all jobs I wanted to do but I don’t want to get hurt and have a set back.
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  • Posted

    Hello...my son had decompression surgery in May 8 ...he also had problems with loud noises but his main complaint now two weeks post op is that he is still dizzy .....he was dizzy before surgery and this had greatly halted his life ...it is so so awful!! Still have some headaches as well ...dr says will take a couple months for all to settle and to know what we aren’t left with ...he was out of school 8 weeks for the dizziness and it has taken over his life an it is so hard to see him like this ....anyone else dizzy after surgery ? Thanks !
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    • Posted

      I’m sorry to hear that your son is going through this. My dizziness was very distracting but i managed it. I continued to do my job, teach my classes, and walk the halls without anyone really even knowing what I was feeling like, so My dizziness problem may not have been as bad as your sons. So far, my dizziness post op actually seems to have gotten better. Regardless, I believe all of us who had this surgery have some markers that we need to get to and then reflect on how we feel. For instance, in my mind I will take inventory on my self at the 1 month mark, 2 month mark and 3 month mark, and then the 6mon mark, and 1 year mark. I hope he starts feeling positive effects immediately, but stay hopeful and be patient with this surgery. God knows we suffered long enough, but I don’t think the surgery is always immediate, we may have to suffer a little longer before things calm down at the surgery site and throughout our heads and necks.
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