This patient has had a diagnosis of occipital neuralgia for about 10 years. She has essentially had a “vice grip of pain” around the back of her head for a decade. Even as a surgeon that sees patients in pain every week in my clinic, this is hard to imagine. I have seen my own family members with a headache for a few hours, and it is enough to wish it was over and I could do something to help.
This patient had tried many different medications, had many nerve blocks, and has had her cervical spine evaluated and treated where problems existed. She continued to have severe posterior head and neck pain that traveled up the side and back of the neck up to the back of the skull.
4 months after a surgical procedure to take pressure off of the larger nerves to the back of the scalp and remove some of the smaller nerves to the back of the scalp this patient has a dramatic 75-80% improvement in her presurgical pain levels.
She reports that she essentially “has her life back.” The constant crushing pain is gone. We are extremely pleased, and we expect with time her symptoms will improve further.
These are the results that we have come to expect with these procedures for severe, refractory occipital neuralgia – pain caused by compression or injury of the occipital nerves on the back of the head.EW