Chiari Online Support Group

Natural African American Hair and decompression surgery

I was diagnosed about 8 months ago with a pretty significant syrinx. I don’t have the symptoms that most have reported just periodic head/neck pain and loss of heat/cold sensitivity on left side. I got a second opinion and felt much more comfortable with the 2nd neurosurgeon and have surgery scheduled for April. I am a teacher and want to have the rest of the summer to relax before returning to work.

My question is what to do with my natural hair. I have a keratin treatment that keeps it from becoming kinky but I feel like my head will hurt when I try to comb through. I usually have itching with braids. Anyone have experience with either post op combing or scalp care for African American hair?

Hi Liberty1

How did your surgery go? Any complications? What about styling your hair pre/post surgery?

I’m also natural. Was diagnosed with Chiari 8 years ago. No surgery yet however symptoms have gotten worse so I have scheduled an appointment to explore options.

One thing I have noticed, when I have gone to the beauty salon to wash my hair I get the WORST sensation when my head is in the shampoo bowl. I can literally feel my cerebellum pressing against the bowl at the nape of my neck. It’s hard to explain but the moment I lift my head the pain/sensation goes away.

I have read a number of horror stories regarding decompression. I do know not all situations are the same. However, I will be lying if I said I’m not scared but with the way my symptoms have increased, I am really considering other options such as surgery.

What was your surgery like?
How much pain were you in immediately after?
How long did the pain last?
What was your recovery like?
How long before you felt you were ready to get back to day to day things such as work?
Any regrets about having the surgery?
Would you do it all over again?

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