Roller coaster headaches revisited

Surg Neurol. 2003 Nov;60(5):398-401. doi: 10.1016/s0090-3019(03)00296-9.


Background: Roller coasters are probably one of the more popular rides at amusement parks around the world. Despite their relative safety, nontraumatic intracranial injuries have been reported following roller coaster rides. The presence of an intracranial arachnoid cyst may increase the risk of nontraumatic injury in this setting.

Case description: We describe a 33-year-old female with a left middle fossa arachnoid cyst who presented with increasing headaches from bilateral subdural hygromas after a roller coaster ride. The patient underwent bilateral burr hole drainage of her subdural hygromas with resolution of her symptoms.

Conclusion: This case demonstrates the potential risks of intracranial injury in patients with an underlying arachnoid cyst who engage in certain types of recreational activity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arachnoid Cysts / complications*
  • Drainage
  • Female
  • Headache / diagnostic imaging
  • Headache / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities
  • Subdural Effusion / complications*
  • Subdural Effusion / diagnostic imaging*
  • Subdural Effusion / etiology
  • Subdural Effusion / therapy
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed