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Causes, symptoms and features of treatment of cephalalgias after spinal anesthesia

A Rare side effect headaches after spinal anesthesia. Intensity and duration are directly dependent on the quality of the surgery. The treatment of such consequences of a spinal tap is usually effective.

the Problem of headaches after spinal anesthesia

Why are there side effects?

spinal anesthesia is the anesthesia before the special puncture (spinal) needle bone tissue of the spine. During the puncture is pierced the membrane. Between it and the spinal cord is the cerebrospinal fluid. During the formation of the hole part of it goes out. As a result decreases the pressure. As a reaction a headache.

The Number vitaceae cerebrospinal fluid largely depends on the thickness of the spinal needle and made holes in the spine. The smaller it is, the less will be the loss of cerebrospinal fluid. Thus, the possibility of headaches as a side effect after the puncture becomes negligible.

Spinal needle for the procedure should be as small diameter pencil sharpened. However, in many CIS countries still use the old model. The area of the puncture, which is done by them is relatively high.

Spinal needle

Features symptoms

And yet headache is a rare side effect. Occurs not more than one-quarter of all patients. The probability of its occurrence largely depends on the extent of the disease, patient age, General condition, existing bad habits.

Postfunctionalist headache more susceptible elderly patients. Percentage of youth, at which it may be, is negligible. This side effect after anesthesia is more common in women. The reasons for this are still unclear.

Headache immediately after anesthesia, can not be. In some cases it occurs within a few hours or even days after the puncture. The peculiarity of pain in the postoperative period is that it covers the frontal part of the head or neck. In some cases, headache in both places at the same time.

The Headache sometimes lasts several hours after surgery, and in complex cases within a few weeks.


To prevent the occurrence of post dural puncture headache or to get rid of it, is shown lying on a bed horizontally. The head is preferably placed on a mattress without pillows. To walk and sit without the need of prohibited. In the postoperative period anesthetic. The patient may feel tingling in your feet, warm all over. Possible short-term shot in the back.

Bed rest after spinal anesthesia

depending on what kind was put on painkillers for a full sensitivity returns after about 5 hours, possibly sooner. When the patient is stabilized, he is allowed to get up. At first it makes your head spin, there are bouts of weakness.

To Stop a headache during the first day try mild painkillers. Shown to drink a lot. The drink restores the proper amount of fluid in the body and thus contributes to the pressure increase.

Radical method of treatment

If postfunctionalist headache lasts more than a day, it is intense, it is likely that from the place of puncture continues to receive the cerebrospinal fluid. In this case is a radical treatment is epidural blood patch. The procedure is performed by the anesthesiologist. The doctor takes the patient's vein and injects it into the puncture made during the operation.

The Blood coagulates and seals the damaged wall membrane. Thus, stops the flow of cerebrospinal fluid out. About a day headache disappears. But there are cases that the first procedure gives a poor result. Spinal fluid again starts to stand out. * * * It was the headache resumes. Then a blood patch at the puncture is done running.

Sometimes, after the treatments come side effects. They manifest themselves in a severe condition of the patient as a result included in the body of the infection. May open bleeding, disturbed sensitivity and motor function of the legs.

Additional sources:

1. Wittenbeck I. A., Kovalenko G. A., S. G. Isangulova, Gersan A. I., Kachanov, N. M. Side effects and complications of epidural anesthesia with local anesthetics // Anest. And reanimatol. – 1987, issue 5.

2. Bjarhall M., Ekseth K, Bostrom s, Vegfors M. Intracranial subdural haematoma: A rare complication following spinal anaesthesia. //Acta Anaesthesiol. 1996.