How Occipital Nerve Surgery Helped Retired Soccer Star Briana Scurry

For retired soccer star Briana Scurry, bilateral occipital nerve release surgery was the first, significant step to relieving her debilitating post-concussive headaches.

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[Briana Scurry] My headaches were very specific— occipital nerve, right behind my left ear. So October 18th, I had bilateral occipital nerve release procedure done. So the doctor—Dr. Ducic at Georgetown— he cut two incisions in the back of my neck and removed the damaged nerve tissue— which was the majority on the left side, but I had a little bit on the right. And I haven't had the piercing headaches since. So that has been a real relief. This surgery was the first step to get rid of that searing pain that I always felt every day that I haven't had since. I do feel like a different person—it was interesting— one of the first things that I noticed after my surgery that made me know that I was on the right track— a couple—like a week after my surgery, I went out with some friends at a restaurant, and we were having dinner. And normally if I'm out with friends, the noise in the restaurant distracts me and it's so loud, and I'm so sensitive to it, and it's hard for me to have conversation in a restaurant for long before I literally have to—have to get out of there. Well, this particular evening, I was just smiling, because I was like—I can have conversation, and I don't—I'm not sensitive to all the sounds. And I—that's when I knew for sure that I was better. Because I was actually in a situation that used to just—drive me crazy with pain, and I wasn't feeling any pain at all.
Posted on BrainLine January 22, 2014.

About the author: Briana Scurry

Briana Scurry is widely thought of as one of the world’s best female soccer goalkeepers. After being named starting goalkeeper for the United States women’s national soccer team in 1994, she helped lead the team in two Olympic gold medals (1996 and 2004), a World Cup  championship (1999), and she had 173 international appearances — a record among female soccer players.

Briana Scurry

Produced by Christian Lindstrom, Justin Rhodes, and Victoria Tilney McDonough, BrainLine.