Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Neck FAQ

Question:

Six months ago I had an operation to take pressure off a nerve that goes to the back of my head. I still have a place on the back of my scalp that is completely numb. Will this go away in time?

Answer:

The feeling of numbness in the back of the head can be very unpleasant. It is a well-known complication of an operation to release a nerve. Some patients also report scalp hypersensitivity or scalp pain instead of numbness.

Loss of sensation as described can be permanent. Return of nerve function can take up to 18 months. If you don't have normal sensation in another year, you aren't likely to get it later.

If this symptom gets worse or you develop new problems, talk to your doctor. There may be treatment available.

Olivier Gille, MD, et al. Surgical Treatment of Greater Occipital Neuralgia by Neurolysis of the Greater Occipital Nerve and Sectioning of the Inferior Oblique Muscle. In Spine. April 1, 2004. Vol. 29. No. 7. Pp. 828-832.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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