4 weeks post op

Tomorrow I will be 4 weeks post op from decompression surgery. Since going off the steroid round 2 weeks ago, I’ve had terrible headaches ,which at first i know can be a downfall from coming off. They are from my ears to the top of my head usually. They let up for 2 days, sat and Sunday, then back yesterday and since. They last all day and while prescription pain medicine helps, it makes me nauseous (we’ve tried 2 kinds). I do a lot of ice packs as well. He doesn’t want to jump right back to steroids, due to the “fall” after, so ask me to ride out few more days. My question is, is this pretty normal? I know I’m only 4 weeks out, and there is no guarantee these will ever subside, but I didn’t know if I needed to be worried about a leak of spinal fluid? I know it’s a possibility. He wants me to keep him n formed over the next few days, he might be worried about it as well. I know everyone’s different, I just pray these dont persist this badly, they are worse than before surgery, before surgery it wasn’t all day, everyday!g

Hi Amsand,

I am 5 weeks out from my 3rd surgery and this time I was put on a steroid (Dexamethasone). I have been off the steroid for two weeks now and I too have headaches (as well as stomachaches). I believe this is from the steroid, but am going to see my PCP because at my post op with my NS, he didn't mention the steroid as a possibility. This is the first time I have ever been on a steroid, so I don't know what is "normal" and what isn't. Heat packs have helped me out with my neck and head pain. Sorry to hear you are struggling. Wishing you the best.


Hi Amsand,

I am so sorry you are having bad headaches.

Headaches are normal post surgical.

Has your NS told you why he thinks you are having daily headaches?

Definitely ask him.

Are you still taking Diamox? Could he be thinking you are still having intracranial hypertension?

I have daily headaches and chronic IH and would wish this on no one.

Tell me about your fall. What made you fall and how did you feel before it happened?

Have you asked NS if he thinks it's Occipital Neuralgia? That is common post surgical.

Spinal Fluid leaks have additional symptoms other than headaches.

How is your incision and the back of your head and neck? Any tenderness, seeping liquid, redness, swelling, squishy places, neck stiffness or light sensitivity, pressure inside your head, temperature, nausea other than from your pain meds, dizziness?

Sorry for all the questions. I might be able to help you with some questions to ask your NS.

I hope you feel better,


No, there was no answer on why might be having the headaches, just that it is pretty normal @4weeks. No, he took me off the diomox, we didn’t think I would need it…but I am in ga, where there are severe storms going on for weeks now…hmmm,.I hadn’t thought of that. No, I didn’t have a real fall, I was describing my backlash, or downfall after going off the steroids. My real pain didnt start until then. No, haven’t asked about the occ. neuralgia, but will look into that and the storm issue too. Incision is great looking, in fact, everyone keeps commenting on it. Tenderness and still slightly puffy on left side, it’s the one side that has been tender since surgery. Nausea only related to pain meds, so far. Yes, light sensitive, but I was preop too.
Thanks so much for your help!

Steroids can cause the headaches especially at the end of tapering or even when just off. I am almost 6 weeks postoperative and had terrible headaches starting when I was almost off them. (For me around 4 weeks as I was on them for 4 weeks)

As a nurse, I never anticipated having so many side effects… (Terrible acne, muscle weakness, moon face, weight gain, felt surgery more as weaned off them) but the headaches were the worst. They are now starting to decrease and I am starting to feel better. I have a new appreciation for this medication and what patients can go through! I wish you the best, my neuro surgeon told me to hang in there as it takes weeks for the steroids to totally clear the system…

I Hope all is well and i had my surgery 09-10-12 and at that time i had a spinal fluid leak and had to lay flat for 24 hours . My grand son is 1year into his surgery and no spinal leak .

He had a little nerve damage in his right leg but now is ok with it i am praying for a speedy recovery for you .

I am sorry 9-10-02 ''''

I also was having severe headaches postop worse than before surgery. At about 5 weeks I found some small lumps on my neck aft e r going to ns he sent me for mrit to find out that I had a csf leak and it was draining into my neck. I hope that is not what is wrong but I would ask to find out cause all I can say is that sucked lol killer me know how it goes I hope u feel better