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Nerve Decompression Surgery

I have a question. My ex wife is considering Nerve Decompression Surgery for our 16 year old daughter who has had a Chronic Migraine for almost two years. She has been to MHNI, Cincinnati Childrens and now seeing a new Neruologist and getting massages, and going to a Chiropractor. I have done my research and what I have discovered is that most of the evidence for this is ancedotal at best. The studies done on this are small, and scientifically flawed. The Neurologist community and Headache Specialists are very skeptical. It is not even an option at places like the Mayo Clinic or Johns Hopkins.

So my question is has anyone had this surgery and does it work? I am an engineer by training and before I offer to shell out a large sum of money on a maybe I need information as this seems like snake oil to me.

  1. Bear in mind while at MHNI she had nerve blocks and they did nothing for her, and when she was at Cincinnati Children's she was a patient of the Headache Clinic. I just don't know what the next step will be, and I want to be rational and methodical about this.

    1. I know several people who have had great pain reduction from this surgery. However, I also know some for which it has done nothing. I'm not sure what the difference is other than it seems to be fairly successful for patients diagnosed with chiari malformation.

      When I was considering surgical options several years ago, I considered both nerve decompression and a nerve stimulator. Ultimately I went with the stimulator because they do a trial to see if it works and if it doesn't, it's totally removable/reversible. Decompression surgery is permanent so that's just something to bear in mind. However, the recovery time for decompression is significantly less than with the stimulator, so consider that as well.

      I can get email addresses for decompression patients who will visit with you if you'd like. And if you have any questions regarding nerve stimulation, I'd be happy to answer those as best I can. There is also a great facebook group that has become the biggest source of info regarding nerve stimulation for headaches on the web.

      1. my surgery date is nov 3 cant wait

        1. How was it? Did the surhery helped for you?

      2. It works (at least for me) and Dr. Afifi at UW-Madison is amazing, but if nerve blocks don't work I'd be cautious, since that is one of the indicators that the surgery will work. If the nerve blocks don't help, what are they using to determine she is a good candidate? Ask. Going through the surgery when testing indicates you aren't going to be helped would be devastating.

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