Author Topic: Pressure/ locked feeling in head and ears after sub-occipital approach  (Read 5854 times)

teacher

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
 I am ten weeks post-op from the sub-occipital approach to remove my AN.  I continue to get what I can only describe as extreme pressure sensations in my AN ear, sometimes other ear and temples.  It's like my head and neck get locked.  Is this a typical sensation or something to be concerned about?  I have had no complications except some hydrocephaly at the base of my neck about two weeks post- op.  I also get a very stiff neck that radiates down the top of my back.  Is this normal (from cut muscles?)

I am a forty-three year old mother of five and first grade teacher (Back at work).  Our family tends to stay very positivie and upbeat about this whole journey (as it came about quickly, surgery was urgent and unexpected, and I was recovering in the hospital over Christmas).  I am thankful for my team of surgeons at Cornell Weill Medical College/Columbia Presbyterian.  As I focus on healing with a good attitude, I don't want to overdue at the same time (Work through pain that shouldn't be worked through...)

I'd appreciate any input.  I hesitated joining because I thought I'd be making something out of nothing.  However, it's good to connect to people who have shared this experience...because not too many people have! 

Thanks for any responses.
Cary

Becky

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 83
Cary,
I have heard from others that with the suboccipital approach muscles are cut, which affect the neck.  Also, during surgery one's head is turned to one side for many hours.  Have you asked your doctors this? 

There are many parts to the neck:  7 vertebrae plus the atlas -- the top neck bone that the head sets on; 4 main vessels (and many branches) that travel through this junction to feed the brain/head; the brain stem/spinal cord and all the nerve roots; how you swallow and your very breath; Lymph vessels and nodes; and ligaments that hold the head onto the neck and hold the neck bones together, which, when damaged cannot be repaired.  If you have a long neck, all the more you need all your muscles working to support your head.  I don't mean to alarm you, but pls don't feel like you're making something out of nothing.  Make sure your doctors are aware of this.

Are you able to rotate your head from side to side?  Are you able to tilt from shoulder to shoulder, forward and backwards?  Do you feel bone creaking activity with your head movements?  Have you had muscle spasms or numbness?  Do downward bumps bother you?

I have heard that heat helps the muscles.  Also, there are contoured pillows that are shaped for the head and neck.  The head/neck joint -- the craniocervical junction -- is a most vital part of the human anatomy.  Plain x-rays can be very helpful in identifying structural problems.  As long as your ligaments are intact, you should be ok.

Please keep us posted.

Sincerely,
Becky
« Last Edit: September 27, 2005, 09:40:59 am by Becky »

Wendy

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 13
I am ten weeks post-op from the sub-occipital approach to remove my AN.  I continue to get what I can only describe as extreme pressure sensations in my AN ear, sometimes other ear and temples.  It's like my head and neck get locked.  Is this a typical sensation or something to be concerned about?  I have had no complications except some hydrocephaly at the base of my neck about two weeks post- op.  I also get a very stiff neck that radiates down the top of my back.  Is this normal (from cut muscles?)



[/quote

I am nearly two years post op sub occipital, and I still use heat almost daily on my neck.  I  use the Original Bed Buddy Microwave heat pack bought at Walgreen's for about 5 dollars.  I also  often (alas) feel that ear pain in the AN ear, just as you do.  In fact I just have emerged from 21/2-3 days of such pain just above the threshold of being able to ignore it and get on with life....so do not despair, you are amazing in being back at work.
Wendy

« Last Edit: March 03, 2005, 09:06:14 pm by Wendy »

annmarie

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Cary,

May I ask who your team of surgeons were at Cornell Weill Medical Center?  My husband has to have AN surgery and we have to find another team of doctors because his HMO rejected the request to go out of network. 

If anyone else can recommend AN surgeons in the metro NY area based on personal experience, it would be greatly appreciated. I feel like we're back to square one in this journey. Thanks.

ann marie

cecile k

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 93
Hi Cary:

Wow, only 10 weeks post op and already back at work??? amazing.... I also had the suboccipital approach to remove a 2 cm AN Nov 2001. I can relate to that pressure feeling - it took about six months to go away. I also suffered extreme headaches which started three weeks post op and could have been related to the severe balance issues I faced post op and how I held my head/neck/shoulders to compensate... Anyway, what I found helped immensely was physiotherapy and I was very blessed to have found a physiotherapist well versed in head/neck issues. She really got me well on the path to a good recovery and I still do those neck stretching exercises to this day to keep everything moving well :) Hope this helps and all the best!

Cecile