Surgical Treatment of Headache Disorders

Based on your answers to the survey, surgical treatments may not be beneficial.  There are two major types of surgical treatments – nerve decompression and arterial ligation surgery.

Nerve decompression surgery is commonly used when people suffering from chronic headache disorders (such as migraine, chronic daily headache, occipital neuralgia, etc) have tender points of the head and neck that correspond to known sites of peripheral nerve compression.  These include the:

  • Supraorbital and supratrochlear nerves (above the inner eyebrows)
  • Zygomaticotemporal nerves (just outside the eyesocket)
  • Auriculotemporal nerves (in front of the ear or on the temple)
  • Greater occipital nerves (just to either side of the center of the neck above the hairline)
  • Lesser occipital nerves (halfway between the ear and the spine at the base of the hairline)

Arterial ligation surgery is used to treat headaches that improve with pressure over areas where scalp blood vessels can be identified and divided surgically.  Commonly, areas that people can compress and temporarily improve their head pain are:

  • Over the inner eyebrows
  • In front of the ear
  • Along the base of the hairline

A third treatment option that may be available involves treating imperfections in the bite that can lead to muscle imbalances in the head, neck, and jaws – this can be the case even if you have had corrective orthodontic treatment in the past.  The only way to determine whether or not this is the case is with a detailed examination.

Regardless of whether your answers to the survey suggested that you may benefit from surgical treatment of your headaches, an in-person discussion with Dr. Hall and a detailed physical examination is necessary to better determine whether or not any of the above treatments may be appropriate for you.

If you have any questions about Knoxville migraine surgery, treatment & relief 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.