Post crainiotomy skull condition?

First off I noticed a few people here have upcoming aneurysm surgeries and I so wish them the best. My prayers to them and to all who are dealing with recovery. I know the concerns are very hard on everyone.

Has anyone here had the cerebral crainiotomy done and the piece of skull removed, then replaced with a plate and screws? My surgeon told me in order to put the skull back they use a small plate to screw it into. He also told me that it could take a good year to fully recover.

I had my cerebral crainiotomy done 3 months ago on the left side of my head. I have heard that the soft spots sometimes do not close up. When I touch this 5" area there are alot of lumpy indentations, and the soft spots covered by the skin/hair that pulsate. I know that my hair will cover the area. It is just not smooth at all like the other side of my head. As for appearance, I do not care but just want to make sure my skull is not caving in or deteriorating.

Has anyone else here experienced any of this?

They left a small piece of skull out of my head- I don't know why- (I am just now to a point where I can start looking at all my records w/out breaking down...) Anyway, my skull is very indented where the surgery was...For me, it was in the back, my scar is in the middle of the back of my neck into the hairline towards the left so. other than the "tail end" when my hair was in a "buzz cut" (no longer-finally growing over the scar!)- I never saw my scar....

It seems like alot of people have the scar towards the front/top of the head?.......

Oh, I also have a shunt- front, right- really feels like an egg!

It's coming up on 2 years and my skull is still very sensitive I wonder- will it always be so? D


I hope you get tremendous feedback from those who have had surgery; there have been so many variations; however, that occurs in coiling /stenting, too.

Hugs and prayers for getting info here and in addressing your questions / concerns with your neuros.


Thanks everyone. I am relieved to hear that this skull problem is not abnormal, but I am not happy that it is and has affected so many. I feel bad that we all have so many different post-op problems. I always feel that we all could have worse post-op situations. Sue and Dana .... I am so sorry you both have so much more to cope with. I often wonder what the years hold ahead for all of us.

My surgeon only told me I might have 2 black eyes post-op. He probably didn't want to put fear in me with what might or might not happen. I am grateful to be here as I am sure we all are.

Thanks again all! (<:

I didn't experience sweetie...but bless your heart....I have seen others who have had part of their skull hopefully you will get responses from them....Gotcha in my Prayers...Colleen

I had the left side cerebral crainiontomy done almost 8 months ago , I had the plate and 4 srewss and three clipping put in . I have now bumps and dents in that area , I think it is all the places around the plate and the screws from putting it back , are yours still very tender to the touch ?? mine are , washing my hair is still a be careful thing due to tenderness .And like you it worries me . best of luck and glad you joined us on here ,I find so much info and relief on this web site .


The lumpy indentations are caused by a couple of things used in the surgery including the device to hold your head in place during the surgery. Along the scar line you'll feel chipped areas caused by the saw and also areas that may have been drilled. As far as the space knitting along the bone flap, this usually will not reseal as many times a surgeon will use a bone wax during surgery to reduce bleeding. My wife had the same concerns and her followup CT scans show many of these deformities and the bone flap is still quite sensitive even after 18 years.

I'm happy to hear they used the plate and screws for you. My wife has her bone flap held in place with stainless steel wire double wrapped in five places. We wished it could be replaced because it would solve many of her headache problems but unfortunately the risk of a bad outcome is to great.

Not to worry, your skull is not caving or deteriorating, it's just a consequence of refitting the flap after losing bone mass due to the cutting and sawing.

Hi Jeanne,

I had cerebral crainiotomy done 14 months ago. The dents are normal along with the bumpyness. Please don't worry! Your head is not caving in. 4 months after I had my clipping I had crainioplasty so now that bone flap is replaced with plastic. This too has all the bumpyness and more. As for the screws they too although not normal to us are something we can feel. So long as the screws are not sticking up to far and are not too painful then it too should be ok. I am not a doctor but I do have experience in this area.

Never in my life did I think I would tell someone I have experience in this area. lol

Give yourself the time you need!

Thoughts and prayers for a successful recovery!!


Good morning everyone.

Cathy, yes, only the soft, pulsating open area's are tender to touch. I don't have any feeling in the area's where the skull or plates have been put back. I hope I get feeling back. I thought the lumps were due to infection or deterioration from my osteoporosis. Severe pain drove me right to the ER on 12/11 and the catscan found fluid in that area which might have been infection. I am scheduled for a 2nd MRI +/- contrast on the 17th. This is why I questioned the lumpiness. I thought maybe something abnormal was causing the this to the skull.

Ed, so sorry your wife has to deal with headache pain. Did the doctors tell you it is the wiring for sure? I only ask because many people here have migraines without having had the wiring. I already have had (2) 4 week bouts of none stop migraines myself. It's strange that many of us never had any headaches pre-surgery but now get horrible migraines or headaches post-op.

Kimberly, I have followed your constant situation of problems you have been having. I feel so bad for all you have to deal with. As for the screws, mine do show on my eyebrow and there is very, very little skin holding them back from popping right out. Any pressure does cause discomfort. Like trying to sleep on a down pillow on this side. I try, but can't.

This forum is and can be so helpful to all of us. I try to keep up with my reading here, but have very few answers to offer. There are many hospital or doctor's websites that give information on ani's and post-op care information, but I have yet to find any that tell what could happen to the skull such as the lumpiness or the long-term migraines, etc, etc. Again, it is so comforting to know we all have some things in common even though they are not always pleasant things.

Thanks to all for sharing your experiences. Jeanne

Jeanne, just wanted to let you know that I had a crainiotomy done also, on my left side with tintenum plates and screws in June 2011. It is touchy even after 7 months. I have a large scar that runs around my hair line and in places the hair hasn't grown back. But, overall I am doing ok. They told me at least a year or more to heal. Thanks, Amy

Hey every one...

I'm getting my screws removed.... yew haw... they hurt, some times bad.. I find out Monday all the details on the surgery.. maybe they can fix the dents,

a little mini face lift at the same time... lol... hey, a girl can dream cant she?.. :)


My wife has four Doctor's and a Neurosurgeon verifying our evidence about the stainless steel wires triggering her migraines. If there were some way to redact personal information, we'd love to share the Doctor's comments about it because until we presented the triggering phenomenom they had never recognized such a condition could occur from this type of surgery. The same physics principles that cause of my wife's migraines can also explain why folks with screws inserted also have headache pain but screws don't appear to cause as intense a headache as having the wires.


I'm curious, has your doctor indicated what they will use instead of screws? Methyl acetate is a expoxy substance that is used to fill in the dents. Unfortunately that's what they used to cover my wife's stainless steel wires holding her bone flap so there is no way to reverse this process.

Thank you Jeanne, my wife can use them about now. This last storm or Arctic Front that came through Pennsylvania on Thursday has had her laid out since then. We enjoyed a great pain free day until we returned home at 4:00 PM still pain free. By 5:00PM she took her first Maxalt and Zofran and by 6:00PM she was down for the count.

Her Doctor's readily admit we may have identified something medical science has never studied. In fact, my search for this information was exhaustive and came up empty handed. As you indicated by your Doctor, when they don't have an answer it's time to CYA. And in a way they are correct, the migraines are not a result of the aneurysm or the surgery but instead are caused by the products used to solve the problem and additionally the environment in which they are placed. It's stunning to know that not one manufacturer of these products or even the FDA has ever conducted a post surgical study of the patients. How sad for you all!!

My husband going thru this same thing right now. He is healing well even returned to work today after only 5 weeks but he does often complain that he can tell exactly where they put the metal plate and screws and that it feels weird compared to the other side of his head. I just told him I think its normal and his neurosurgeon doesnt seem to see any problems with his healing


It is a hugely more complex issue than practicing Doctor's and Medical Schools can devote time to but here is a small dose of why your original hardware (and most all clipping patients prior to 1995) are affected by electronic equipment: "The physics principle of “Electromagnetic Induction” induces EMF’s emitted by electronic equipment and it is received by the cranial hardware and in particular the stainless steel sutures. Magnetic flux of the electromagnetic field is introduced into the patient’s cranial nervous system via “skin effect”, and by the magnetic field portion of the EMF field. The magnetic field is known to create a secondary electrical current (but now it occurs underneath the skull and inside the brain in a nerve rich area).

Medical science accepts that the human body generates electrical energy to power its own cells. “The phenomena of an electric current moving through open space creates a magnetic wave which produces induced magnetism in a ferromagnetic material (aneurysm clips prior to 1995 and stainless steel sutures are this material) and can be very large even in the presence of a weak external field (such as a flashlight), in fact hundreds to a thousand times stronger than the external field that causes the magnetic alignment.”[1] These conditions permit the "Cortical spreading depression" also known as a "Migraine."

[1] Cutnell & Johnson, Physics 8e, p666