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horrific muscle spasms night of surgery

lmhs1935llmhs1935 Posts: 75
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have horrific muscle spasms the night of my posterior level one lumbar spine surgery. Everything was going rather smoothly until the nurse came in to move me and then it started. It felt like being stabbed repeatedly in the back. Plus my muscles were contracting as well. The nurses were scrambling around trying to figure out what to give me. When the pain was so bad that I knew I was going to throw up they came in and I got an injection of phenagren in my leg. Between that and the PCA pump for pain I thankfully fell asleep. It lasted about an hour total and I had a few the next morning but nothing as severe as the night before. Has anyone else had this experience?

Surgery on November 22, 2010


  • You aren't alone. This happened to me after I got home. My surgery was done as day surgery. So I was there only 1 night. It started on day 2 and randomly happened a few times. Then every time I laid down at night I would get some spasms for a few minutes. Then everything was fine.

    After my little "seizure" of spasms on day 2 my wife called the doctor. They said it was common and to expect them several times. They told her to make sure I continued on the Valium. We were using it as the muscle relaxer. I had to stop taking Percoset and Valium after a few days. The spasms came back but not as harsh.

    Those first ones didn't feel like stabbing. They felt like someone picked me up by my back muscles in my lumbar area. My fusion was at L5-S1.

  • This is how I'm feeling now! I'm 10 days post op PLIF and my legs feels like I have tiny creatures crawling around in there while punching me! I'm not sure this normal after a fusion? Glad it's better for the both of you now..

  • I can only comment on how painful leg/foot spasms are. I get them especially if I don't drink enough water during the same.

    My feet and calfs of my legs cramp. Nothing works to alleviate them...I try to get up to walk thinking it will stretch the muscle and stop it from contracting. I drink water, ice my back, walk around my house, and wait it out as best I can. If they don't settle down after about 20-30 mins, I give in and take a muscle relaxer.

    I hope things get better!
  • @Graham. My fusion was L5-S1 also. I can't believe you came home on the same day. I was in the hospital for four days. I feel pretty good now, now that I am up and moving and back to work part time. At the end of the day my skin feels a bit numb around my incision. My original pain is completely gone.

    Take Care,
  • Oh I totally relate. I thought those spasms the first few days after fusion would be the death of me. there was nothing that was taking the pain down. Fusions are so rough. I was in the hospital for three and a half days. I cant imagine being in there only one day!
  • Lauren and Jessica.

    Yeah. One day if you can call it that.

    I went in at like 6am. Did some last minute prep and all. They wheeled me down to OR around 8am or so. Was out late morning. Surgeon said surgery part was a little over an hour. I slept from noon until about 6pm. Then nurse woke me up and made me walk. That sucked, a lot. Then she did it again a couple more times throughout the evening. In the morning I walked the hall by myself all the way down to the end. Way past what they told me I needed to do. There was no reason to stay. Wound looked really good. I was off the IV, never even had a pain pump. Had breakfast, surgeon and his nurse checked me out, changed my bandages, told me to go home.

    It's all doable.

    I had what they call MIS fusion surgery. Don't be fooled though. It still hurt, a lot! But no point staying at the hospital. 1 year out my fusion is solid. I'm released to do whatever I want.

    Now those spasms at first. Holy Cow!!! Every time I went to lay down they would start. I would curl up in the fetal position on my side to calm them down. Then after 5-10 minutes they would subside and stop. They were no fun. My back felt very tight. The muscle relaxers helped with the spasms except for when I went to lay down. Nothing stopped that. Then they started to disappear. Then one day they were just gone.

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