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    Post-surgical dura headaches
    An_257547 posted:
    I hope that was a catchy subject, I'm not sure what to title this.

    I am 3.5 weeks out of spinal surgery, mostly in the lumbar region. Things are going quite well in general, though I have a large area of swelling over the lumbar region, this swelling is probably six inches on a side and possibly more than an inch thick, and is itself not painful.

    My problem is that when I lay down, I get a headache. What I feel is fluid rushing into my head and the resulting pressure causes a severe headache. When I become vertical again, the pressure subsides as does the headache. My surgical team does not understand this and have indicated that they are not interested in dealing with it.

    I mention the swelling area because I now have incidents of exerting pressure on that area by sitting in a car, using a particular recliner, and lying directly on my back, all causing the same kind of headache. When I press on the swelling with my hands, I can feel the headache start.

    In addition to the headache, I also feel odd "pain" that seems to be nerve related as it does not feel muscular, etc. This pain occurs in various locations along my back and in various degrees of intensity, all appear to be directly related to how much pressure is applied to the swelling.

    Another trigger is when I lean forward, although slightly - I believe my back muscles kick in to hold me upright and therefore squeeze on the swelling itself.

    Here comes my guesswork:
    I know the swelling is post-operative, but I suspect that applying pressure to it causes pressure on the dura, which then forces fluid away from the swelling area and into my head, causing the headache. I, of course, don't know much about the dynamics of the dura and my swelling, but this explanation fits the model.

    As I stated, my post-op recovery team has presented this to the surgeon and nobody knows what is happening, they cite that spinal headaches occur when CSF drains from the head, but since this is the opposite, they don't know what it is and so are not interested in dealing with it. I have no place to turn, except for forums like this.

    Does anybody have any experience/knowledge about this kind of thing? It is now the primary road-block to my recovery which if soon enough will let me return to work before I lose my job, so I'm motivated to find an answer.

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