Knoxville Overview of Headache Surgery
It is estimated that over 40 MILLION people in the United States currently suffers from some form of headache disorder. If you or a loved one suffers from migraine headache, cluster headache, or occipital neuralgia, you know that finding treatment from these debilitating diseases can be difficult. Many patients have been to numerous physicians and tried many different medications with little positive results.
If this sounds like your own story,
Despite a large number of scientific studies, the medical community still understands very little about headache disorders and why certain people experience them and others do not. It is thought that it is the pressure on some nerves of the head and face (the supraorbital nerves above the eyebrows, the occipital nerves in the back of the head, or the zygomaticotemporal nerves in the temples) can start a cascade within the brain that causes headaches. Since the early 2000’s, botulism toxin (Botox) has been used in a select group of patients with migraine or occipital neuralgia with good success at reducing or eliminating their symptoms by temporarily paralyzing muscles of the face or head that compress those certain nerves.
Acting on this information, surgeons have begun removing some or all of the muscles around those specific nerves (what is referred to as a “nerve decompression”), and have noted that in those patients almost 85% of them have seen improvement in their headaches.
A second type of headache is thought to be caused by abnormal dilation of the blood vessels of the scalp. Many patients with this type of headache will experience temporary relief with pressure over the vessels themselves. Although less widely known, surgery to divide these vessels can eliminate a majority of this type of headache.
Lastly, some headache disorders can be the result of dental or jaw abnormalities. Patients can grind their teeth, have TMJ disorders, or have minor abnormalities in upper or lower jaw growth which can result in chronic headache disorders. Typically, the treatment for these types of headache is not surgical, but requires specialty dental care to reverse or correct the problem, which in many cases will treat the headache much more effectively than medication.
Unfortunately, some people do suffer from headache disorders that have no surgical or dental treatment. For these headaches, finding the optimal medication or combination of medications is the best solution and hopefully offers some relief from the burden of chronic headaches.
It is possible, based on your medical/headache history and your headache symptoms, to determine whether or not you may be a candidate for Knoxville surgical treatment of your headaches.
If you have any questions about Knoxville headache surgery or would like to meet with Dr. Hall to discuss your options, call 865.973.9500 or use our contact form and request an appointment. For out of town patients, feel free to request an online consult via Skype.