Causal Relation between Nerve Compression and Migraine Symptoms and the Therapeutic Role of Surgical Decompression

Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2015 Jun 5;3(5):e395. doi: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000000345. eCollection 2015 May.


Background: Nerve decompression has been recently described as a therapy for migraine headaches. Multiple studies have demonstrated significant symptomatic relief or complete resolution of migraine symptoms in patients with surgical decompression. However, there is no study describing a causal relation between migraine headaches and nerve compression and resolution of symptoms with tumor removal and nerve decompression.

Methods: We were presented with a biological example of compression neuropathy causing migraine headaches due to greater occipital nerve compression by a lipoma from a remote head trauma. Included is a literature review of nerve decompression therapy for migraine.

Results: Migraine symptoms were completely resolved on removal of the mass and nerve decompression. The patient has not required any migraine medications since the surgery.

Conclusions: This case serves as a biological example to validate the true causal relationship between greater occipital nerve compression and migraine headaches.

Publication types

  • Case Reports