Occipital neuralgia surgery

What is occipital neuralgia?

Occipital neuralgia, also known as Arnold’s neuralgia, is a painful syndrome of the occipital region that affects the cervical and cutaneous territories innervated by the occipital nerves. These are the major occipital nerve (Arnold’s great nerve), the minor occipital nerve and the third occipital nerve. The pain starts from the back of the neck and radiates to the head in a paroxysmal (branches) or continuous form.

It is often described as a stabbing pain, accompanied by alterations in sensitivity in the area, with special sensitivity and discomfort when directly touching the nerve branches. It can increase by touching the skin area of the scalp, moving the neck and even combing your hair. Generally, it is unilateral, and can radiate to the back-auricular, temporal, parietal, frontal and retroocular area.

Primary occipital neuralgia is not too common, and requires a good differential diagnosis with other entities by a specialized neurologist.

The theory of its cause is not yet well established, and an inflammatory process of the greater or lesser occipital nerve is suggested, due to chronic muscle contraction, which causes neural alterations. This is mainly due to the action of the trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles. There are also other causes, such as trauma and occipital lashes, and nerve compression of tumor origin, the latter less common.

How can I solve my neuralgia?

In its usual management is the infiltration or injection of anesthetics and corticosteroids, in addition to different types of oral medications to control pain, which produce different rates of response and pain control. In many patients with poor control of this pathology, the quality of life is greatly affected, even being limited for their basic daily activities, which causes them great impotence by not finding an adequate solution to their problem.

Surgery has been unveiled as an option to consider for the treatment of patients affected by occipital neuralgia who respond positively to cervical infiltrations.

At Instituto Facial we make a confirmation diagnosis by the neurologist of the unit, as well as by the surgical team, to be able to raise the option of surgery only in those cases in which there is a clear indication of it.

We will be happy to assist you at the “Hospital Cruz Roja” in Córdoba (Spain) or in our online consultation.

Occipital neuralgia or migraine surgery – online consultation

Are you from outside of Spain and would like to be able to consult about whether occipital neuralgia and migraine surgery could be an option for you without having to travel?

At Instituto Facial we offer the possibility to the patient to make a first assessment by our surgeons virtually through the Zoom platform.

In it, an medical interview will be carried out with the patient to find out the characteristics of his headache or, assess if the surgical procedure could be useful in his case, and resolve any doubts that may exist about the process.

Likewise, an indicative estimate of how much the surgery would cost in selected cases could be provided after the meeting.

Both the definitive assessment and diagnosis by the medical team, as well as the indication of treatment will always be made during the in-person visit that would be scheduled if the patient is interested.

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