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01/02/2013 10:24 AM

pain in shunt area.

Posts: 2
New Member

17 years ago, I had a shunt placed on the right side of my body as a result of a build up of blood between my brain and skull. (It was treated almost the same as hydrocephalus however, it wasn't that) The type of shunt I have in doesn't require revisions too often. (That is why I have never had a revision since the first one was placed)

Over the last few days, I have been experiencing pain on the right side of my neck. Not a 'pricking' type of pain but kind of the pull and tug type of pain. Whenever I move my neck, it becomes very uncomfortable (that is if I can even move my neck.) Every now and again, I feel a jolt of pain starting from behind my ear and going down past my collar bone.

Should I be worried? If so, should I go to the hospital since my family doctor isn't familiar with shunts?

I do have a follow up with my surgeon to check how I am doing but it isn't until early March

Thanks for all the feedback!

Oh, I also should add I have been experiencing some vomiting and a lot of nausea.

Post edited by: Mno19, at: 01/02/2013 10:29 AM


01/02/2013 01:00 PM
KwiteKontrariePosts: 1576
VIP Member

Oh, I also should add I have been experiencing some vomiting and a lot of nausea.

Oh! Well THAT changes my initial thought! Laughing

I WAS going to say that if what you are experiencing is "tugging" and "pulling", then waiting till March is no big deal, HOWEVER, vomiting and nausea in conjunction with shunt pain IS a "big deal".

I'm not a big one for rushing off to the hospital for every little thing, and I USUALLY start with my family doctor first, so that is a personal preference. However you choose to do it, please DO see someone and start taking proactive steps. I would start with the family doctor just so he/she is alerted to your condition and see what suggestions he/she may make. (Also, some insurances insist that you start with the primary care doctor first.) If not the hospital, I'm sure your doctor is going to suggest that you call your surgeon right away and push for a more immediate appointment.

Tugging and pulling on the shunt could simply be calcification, or scar tissue build up, neither is particularly concerning, but it can cause discomfort. Shunt tubing that gets brittle, could break, cause blockages, or fluid build up in other areas of your body where the tubing is leaking, and that can cause pain and discomfort.

It is possible that the tube became calcified/brittle, caused a blockage, and now you are experiencing fluid build up in your skull/brain, and that is causing the vomiting/nausea. It is also possible that the pain you are experiencing is related to an infection, and that's worse yet. So, please do see a doctor. Even if that means going to the hospital.


01/02/2013 01:10 PM
Posts: 2
New Member

thanks for your feedback Smile I have a type of shunt that supposedly stops working after a certain time. (As said by my doctor.)

Fortunately, I do live in Canada so health care is "free." Once when I had a problem with my shunt, I went to an urgent care facility which is basically services that are in between family doctors and larger hospitals. That was a waste of time as I waited there for 8 hours then was transfered to the hospital where I spent a day.

I think I will go to the hospital as I am having nausea and vomiting.

01/02/2013 03:26 PM
Posts: 180

I would go to the hospital If I were you. When my shunt malfunctions, there is nausea and vomiting, associated with pain. In my experience it could cost you if you end up waiting too long to go. It is better to be safe than sorry. Some people would hesitate because they do not have insurance. With having free healthcare, if you have a medical condition and you feel that there might be the slightest thing wrong, I would say go.

01/04/2013 08:01 PM
Posts: 213
Group Leader

Ah another Canadian Smile

Upon reading your post I nitially,like Mary thought of it being due to calcification/old hardware. The nausea and vomiting however changes things and so as suggested,go to the hospital/make an immediate appontment with the surgeon and push for it to be as soon as possible.

And please do let us know how things work out!

01/24/2013 02:52 PM
Posts: 1
New Member

HI i am new to this. I had a shunt placed when i was 21 (30 years ago)after years of headaches and increasing visual disturbances. Happily for me it seems never had any problems, until a couple of yars ago when i got an egg sized swelling in my neck (no pain). Theneuro bods were going to operate but happily for me somebody was rushed in and they delayed my surgery - next day swelling was going down-so no surgery. I am now getting increasing twinges and irrratation in y neck- hence looking for info. Glad to see not uncommon- espeically as my nhs shunt seems to have lasted pretty well.

Docs reckoned had the condiditon from infancy,

First doc i saw after surgery (GP that is) reckoned i must have fits or some other incapacity- but like others I have a mastersdegree, 4 jobs and never had any restrictions - just the perfect excuse for anything scatty i do or forget

01/26/2013 08:41 AM
KwiteKontrariePosts: 1576
VIP Member

Welcome, Drayfuss!

Hard telling, from a layman's point of view, what could be occurring... If your shunt tubing did fail/break at your neck (causing the "growth" that eventually subsided), it may have simply been a leak of fluid that your body learned to reabsorb. (Just a guess on my part.) Now, a couple of years later this "arrangement" is causing some unpleasant consequences.

I'm just taking a wild guess, as I've not experienced any issues yet. I've just read a lot of posts from many forums for a variety of illnesses and know that the body has a remarkable capacity to "adapt" to abnormal circumstances, but then there are times that the body has reached its limit of adapting and rebels!

Don't know if that would be your issue, or not, but it's a good guess! Wink



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