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Muscle Spasms

iowarobiniiowarobin Posts: 1,268
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I know I have asked alot of questions, but I am wondering for those of you who had PLIF. I had mine 5 weeks ago along with a discectomy and I am having quite a few muscle spasms. I am having them on the front of my legs as well as side and back. Is this normal. My leg just jerks. Or is this a side effect of medicine?


  • I did not have your problems.

  • My legs did not jerk but I did have burnng sensations after all 3 of my surgeies.
    Could be a side effect? Ask your doctor of pharmacist.

    PLIF is serious trauma and your body needs time to recover.
    If you are worried, spek with your doctor.

    I wish you a speedy recovery
  • I had a L4-L5 PLIF with laminectomy 2 weeks ago, and my muscle spasms have almost disappeared. Mine were front thigh problems...not really the jerking type but more like severe constant aches and stuff like that...now it's just general leg weakness and tiredness after being up on my feet too long...off to bed and it's a quick recovery (so far at least as I have not really started long distance walking or PT/exercising yet
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    is not right, call your doctor.
    I remember from my past surgeries (cervical and Lumbar) that I would have muscle spasms on and off.

    I think you will find this more often with lumbar surgery. After the procedure and during the recovery process, you muscles need a good adjustment.
    Sort of think of it this way.

    1- Your muscles are a rubberband
    2- During your problems that rubberband gets stretched out of shape
    3- Your rubberband might have snapped, but during surgery while fixing everything else, that rubberband was twisted and tied.
    4- But like any rubberband that was tied, its tighten then it was before, so there are chances of twitching.

    This is only my simple (very simple) view on how we can get muscle spasms after surgery.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • iowarobin, when I was fused at the c3-c5 I did not have any problems. But when I was fused in "03 at the c6 -c7 level I have had nothing but problems. Here it is 6 years later and Im haveing spasms that actually knock you off your feet. It is in the side of the back and comming through the lower chest area. I have been on the same medication for the whole time but the spasms just started about 6 months ago and no sign of letting up. Thats why Im looking for another dr to tell me whats going on. They hit sooooo hard Im afraid to drive anywhere. Hang in there. I know they hurt like the dickens :''( . Hope you do better in the days to come. God bless. O:)
  • I am 8 weeks out, PLIF, and on days that I have to sit alot especially, I still have muscle spasms. They are small and more of an annoyance than pain. My doc tells me that all of these type of issues after back fusion are pretty common. However, I don't know when you next see your doc but if it isn't pretty soon and the spasms bother you, call! That's what these guys get "the big money" for ;)

    Good luck and I hope your symptoms abate quickly. One thing this surgery is teaching me - patience. Seems like for a couple of days I start feeling "almost normal" then whammo! I'm back with the burning, tingling legs and back pain. Looks like, for me at least, it's gunna take months, not weeks, to get better.
  • 18 months after PLIF surgery and my whole back has been spasing for over a week now i just want to cry
  • Sorry this is not back related...but I was reading this thread and saw your beautiful Mini Schnauzer and had to comment. I too have a mini and love him..he is almost nine yrs old and his name is Squigman. They are the cutest little pets aren't they? Sorry to intrude in this thread...just couldnt pass it up!

    I just had my 2nd MicroD on the 16th of Jan and I still have massive leg spasms that are jerky..especially right as I am falling alseep. i take Flexerill and it seems to help some...Have a great night all!
  • I was having really bad muscles spasms at night. I'd wake up creaming as I would jerk my back as well.
    It is time to see your Dr and get a muscle relaxant and to make sure all is OK.
    ALso ask about taking magnesium as this iften helps.
    Blessings Sara
  • I just had a post titled Muscle Spasms myself..lol...

    I also have muscle spasms but mine are not in the front of my legs, mine are on my side, on my hip/lower back area. Mine, just like Kathyy's are not a huge pain but are strong enough to warrant me to take a muscle relaxer and that has worked greatly.

    Did your doc prescribe a muscle relaxer?

    Call your doc if you have nay questions :)
  • Hi Robin!
    Yes, the jerky legs is something, isn't it! Mine still do that (also have leg fasciculations, invoulintary spasms from the nerve roots ...NS said could be caused by either nerves are regenerating or dying...fun, huh!) Those + deeper spasms around my hardware & into butt/hip/outer thigh area. Occasionally a few in upper back (!) And sometimes the whole L4/L5/S1 area will just "sieze up" like it's starched....I'm not complaining, b/c over-all I feel a lot better after a year out, but the spasms occur for a long time afterwards, per NS, b/c everything is still getting used to new positions & loads & your muscles are just shot from the surgery, very weak & stretched, etc...

    Valuim helps, as does GENTLE massage (but check w/ your doc b4 having any manipulative work done) You are only a bit over a month out, so take things easy! Meds can sometimes cause spasms if you suddenly take less...when NS titrated down my dilaudid, I had awful leg jerking + even some tummy stuff...

    What meds are you on, if I may ask? Opioids can sometimes cause jerky-ness.

    Walking helps. But time helps more. This is a very long recovery & lots of stuff pops up as you trudge this path!

    Hope you feel better today!

  • I really appreciate all the help and info from your experience. I do think that Meds and just surgery has the effect on me. Currently I am on 75 mg Fentyl duragesic patches every 48 hours, 60 mg oxycodone every 4 hours and 5 mg vallium every 8-12 hours. Was on alot of narcotics pre surgery for about 1 1.2 years so my pain was very hard to control after surgery. But they did the patch, dilodid 4 mg every 2 hours and oxycodone every 4 hours and valium every 8 hours. Was pretty foggy at hospital. But it has gotten better, I had 7 surgerys in the past 14 months and still have 2 more. It took 2 years to even figure out the pain generater, so this trip has been long. But at least now I see light at the end of the tunnel, per say. How long did it take for your NS to see the fusing starting? It looks to me like you have been down an long road, too. I go to surgeon on Tues, and will see what he says. Nice to hear your story and hope to keep in touch, :H
  • Surprisingly, my spasms are always the worst in the mornings when all the pain meds have worn off. I'll often wake myself up moaning in pain until I can get up and take my meds.
  • I still get them all the time, and throughout the night since my TLIF/laminectomy and I take Zanaflex for it. It's like those muscles have a mind of their own sometimes.
  • When did you have your surgery? My spasms dont always hurt, sometimes they are just powerful. Has a small bowl of M&Ms on my legs and had a spasm so strong, it knocked the bowl off my leg and I had m & ms all over the bed.LOL :D
  • My acupuncturist said that the magnesium was to low and that was causing the spasms. I changed to a 200 IU Vitamin D/1000 mg Calcium/500 mg Magnesium supplement. As long as I take it twice a day, I don't have the spasms in my legs.
  • I had L2-L3 fusion 11/25/08 and am having the same issue you are describing. The muscles on my right thigh above my knee spasm all of the time, as do the muscles on my right calf. My doctor told me that it is because he had to disturb the nerve quite a bit because there was quite a bit of disc material around it and because I had some blood loss, he had to flush out the area also disturbing the nerves. He tells me he is very 'optomistic' that this is a temporary problem that will go away as the nerve calms down and things in my back settle after this surgery. This is my fourth spine surgery and I have never had this problem before. Apparently only time will tell, for both of us.
    I choose to be optimistic for both of us :)
    Fused L2-3 to S1 and at C5-6. I have a central herniation @ T11-12 and multiple bulging discs in my thoracic. I also have fibromyalgia and suspected arachnoiditis, awaiting my results of a recent MRI.
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