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Muscles still tighten up in legs and back

Sweetpotatoe57SSweetpotatoe57 Posts: 97
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am almost 18 weeks out of L5 S1 lami, foramintomy, and facetectomy, and still am getting on and off tighting of the leg, and calf muscles, and lower back muscles. Also, can nerve pains come and go, good days and bad days, and how long does this go on? I do have some knots in the knee area, that seem to be there with the tighting. Any thoughts, and how long does all this healing go on? I have many improvements, although sitting is slow, and sustained walking is hard, but strenght is really back in legs. Thanks for any information, sweetpotatoe57


  • I have only had the ALIF and later PLIF fusion surgery, but the PLIF caused lots of spasms in my legs and low back for about the whole first month after. Now, I still get tightening if I stand for a long time (cooking or shopping) or sit on a hard surface.

    I hope you have some kind of muscle relaxers to take? Also, laying on your back, keeping your head layed down (on the bed or soft surface) and raising up your knees or legs stretching out the hamstrings helped a lot, but wasn't comfortable at first. I felt like I sweated way too much trying to get my legs up. LOL. I don't exercise regularly. I was told walking was the best thing too, but it also tightened me up unbearably. I'd have to stick to my heating pad to relax the muscles. I had charlie horses in my feet, calves, upper thigh and bottom, so I know how you feel. I would have to put a heat pad on the spasm until it released and practice breathing steadily to relax.

    I hope this helps. Also, on the nerve pain, yes it can come and go. If you swell any at night or in the morning, the extra fluid puts pressure on tissues and on nerves. Also, doing a lot can fire them up.

    I was telling a coworker just the other day...that these two back surgeries have been the hardest things I've ever done.
  • Could it be scar tissue near a nerve root? That could be my problem and it can be very dibilitating in it's own way.
  • I'm 6 weeks post-op for MicroD with laminectomy. I've been in PT for 3 weeks now. My affected leg (left) aches with sustained walking and it is frustrating. Incision is healed nicely and pain there is minimal anymore. Sitting is easier, but I like to ride in the car only 1 hour at a time without stretching. Mornings are tough with a tight calf that doesn't appreciate starting its day. Is this normal? How long should I expect this to continue? S1 nerve was impinged for 7 weeks prior to surgery and all that area is still just as numb as pre-surgery.
  • I had a L5 S1 laminectomy, S1 foramintomy, and a mesial facetectomy. Mine was compressed for almost a year. Nothing showed up on the MRI, and I had 3 of them. I sustained a injury in Dec. 2007, New Year's Eve, and just kept getting worse. My family Dr. even told me this was all in my head, and I had 3 ESI's that did nothing. Muscle wasting, etc. happened. I was totally disabled. Finally got into a neurosurgeon, got a EMG which showed the compression, and had surgery very quickly. He said it was a mess. I had a piece of bone laying on the S1 nerve root, and a severe compression. My sitting is still not good, only 30 minutes tops, and my leg tightness improves with stretching, but just never seems to work out. Buckeyeback asked about scar tissue, but lastest MRI showed none, and the Dr. said "THINGS LOOK GREAT", and that time to heal was needed. Try stretching your calf out before you get out of bed. I do knee to chest on each leg 5 times, then a piriformis stretch and obturator stretch, 3 on each leg, and adductor stretch, then hamstring. 3 of them a hip rotator exercises, and also stretch the calf. Hamstring also does a calf stretch, and I find it works the calf out in the AM. I do these 3 times a day. The Dr. said, it just takes time, and told me 6 to 9 months. My friend had a Microdisc. and Lami, and she said it was 6 months before her legs got better. She was compressed for about 8 months. Hope this helps, as I am not a Dr., and can only speak from personal experience!! sweetpotatoe57
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