My 3yr old son post op severe headaches

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My 3yr old son just had the decompression surgery on 3/3 and has been having severe headaches all over his head (mostly in the front parts though) and sometimes earaches. We have him on ibuprofen and tylenol. We ended up going to the ER 2 days ago and they did an mri and said that it looks fine. His dr said that he should be on the way up but he seems to be in the same amount of headache pain. I was wondering if this is normal?

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  • Posted

    Hi Justin

    Sorry to hear your son is still getting the headaches after surgery. From what I have read it is great news that the Mri is showing that everything is fine. Thats a good sign.

    I would say it could be adjustments of the brain getting over the decompression sugery. I remember my head feeling really light though and really strange. In fact my face felt like water was been poured down it. I mentioned this to the doctors and they said everything is fine just the head and body adjusting.

    I would however make notes on when these head aches keep occuring. If they keep occuring after a couple days I would bring it up again. See if you can get a reason out of the doctors to why they think this is too.

    Decompression surgery isn't a cure for chairi unfortunalty just a prevention of it getting worse. So I really hope that his head aches will go away very soon.

    But overall it could just be his brain adjusting after surgery. I think I had head once not long after mine. But keep a note of how many times these head aches occur.

    Let me know how he gets on.

    I wish you all the best and your son for his recovery.

    Take care


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  • Posted

    It is hard to comment on such a little person. What a brave little boy he must be.

    I had the decompression surgery last year so can only advise & help from what I have experienced.....

    after my op I had terrible trouble with my ears, tinnitus & muffled hearing. This has now settled, others mention this too, so rest assured, I am sure it will settle, just not very nice for him. Perhaps try a hot water bottle, but warm.

    As your sons new pressure in the brain settles he is bound to experience a lot of symptoms, let alone with the recovery of such a big op for a little person.

    It is still very early days. The anaesthetic will still be in his system taking its toll. 

    Headaches are common place in the first few months after surgery. Try and be reassured that the MRI done at your hospital shows all is well. 

    Dehydration is a huge problem, and often causes these headaches to front and top of the head. Also as the pressure settles in his brain he will actually need to drink a lot more than normal. This makes a big difference with the recovery headaches. His medication will add to dehydration too, it did with me & then the constipation from the meds.

    Ibuprofen will help, but make sure he is taking something to protect his tummy as it is very harsh on the gut. 

    Hope this helps a little....big cuddles being sent his way. 🎈

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  • Posted

    Ah poor little thing, that's a nasty operation for such a little person, I'm 61 and it was bad enough for me. You have been getting some good advice. It's hard for a little one to understand that rest and drinking plenty is essential. I was very unwell with dizziness and nausea and it it took weeks before headaches eased. But everyone is different and I pray he recovers quickly. X
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  • Posted

    Update 1yr later:

    After about 2 weeks his headaches subsided from the surgery.

    Everything is going great for the little guy now he is progressing great with no Chiari symptoms and the bi-annual MRI came back looking good. 


    Thank you all for the information and kind words.

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