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Post surgery spasm thunderbolts!

I am a 63 yr. old, basically healthy woman. I had a TDR S-1 L-5 on 8/27. I am reaching out because I was not having problems walking for first five days. Now I need assistance or at least my husband hovering. I get the kind of spasms that feel like electrical shock hitting my spine when I walk and move ever so slightly off course or balance. Even sometimes when I feel perfectly balanced! It completely freaks me out because I have almost collapsed to the floor twice. I need to find out if anyone has this similar and very frightening experience? I understand the angry nerves! Wow!
Susan White


  • ColoradoRobCColoradoRob Posts: 11
    edited 09/09/2014 - 11:08 AM
    Hi I am a 54 yo male recovering from l5 l4 s1 fusion. 6 Screws, titanium spacer between 4/5 and a curved rod for hardware.
    I was cruising along week by week with adding swimming, 700 meters with the aid of floats, walking about 1.5 miles, going to the gym doing the bike and treadmill and was thinking I was out of the woods. At about 9 weeks I had 3 similar incidents where I went instantly screaming in pain unlike I have EVER experienced!!! My guests were about to cal 911 until I had my son and son-in- law drag me off the couch and stand me upright. It lasted an unimaginable 20 min until I poured meds into my system to the max does ie: muscle relaxers and oxy.. It happened twice more in the next two days and then has not returned! It has traumatized me to the point I am now not doing any of the activities ( other than recently added PT after 8 weeks). I honesty believe w/ me it was the PT as I now feel like I'm back to square 1 after starting PT 2 weeks ago. I also believe the intense pain was nerve related and not a muscle spasm like they told me at DR office the next day when I called to tell them what had happened. At first I thought I broke a screw and it was sticking into my spine, I am no expert but I think what you are experiencing is something similar as things have been shifted around during surgery and now your muscles are trying to pull things back together and nerves will inevitably be in the way!
  • I have been having pretty awful muscle spasms too and lately have needed hubbies help to get up or turn in bed. My surgery was 21/08/14.
  • Did your surgeon clear you to be doing all of that excercising at 9 weeks post op? You were doing things that you probably shouldn't have been to the extent that you did, and most likely set off the muscle spasms.
    At 9 weeks, patients are usually beginning work with a physical therapist, and working to strengthen the core muscles and increase endurance, as well as stretching excercises.
    Aqua therapy is usually limited at first to simple walking using the water for resistance, and progresses later to using the floats to increase resistance .
    The tissues and muscles must also recover from the surgery, as well as the spinal structures and doing too much , too soon, can cause flare ups and increased symptoms.
  • Hi and Honestly NO I did not have permission per say from the Doc. I feel like they really don't want you to bug them after they get the surgery done and get their $$ . When I went in at 4 weeks for the x-ray and follow up he ( Neuro) didn't even look at my back which I thought was very strange! The office Gal has been somewhat helpful but even she says the same pattern responses of " well everyone's different" and if it feels OK then go ahead and do it. That was at 2 weeks when I had the staples removed when I had explained I was going to start swimming!
  • Yes. After SI joint fusion, L4-S1 fusion, spinal stimulator, I can just be walking casually, and suddenly it feels like a good thwack from a crossbow arrow smacks into my si joint and my rt leg collapses. I tell them this has been happening since 2001, but to no avail. I get no answers. I've cracked ribs from a fall, and chipped my elbow.
  • PegunsworthPPegunsworth Posts: 3
    edited 09/17/2014 - 1:52 PM
    I am 6 months post op from anterior and posterior cervical fusion of C2- T2. I have muscle spasms of my head and shoulders and back. I am taking muscle relaxants which help a little. Any suggestions?
  • Not to scare you but my wife had c4/5/6 fused 7 years ago and for 18 months she had similar incidents of spasms and pain non-stop. She was told time and time again she was "imagining" the pain and the Doc.s said she should seek "mental" counseling!!!! She was finally able to get a top-Neuro look at her and the MRI had showed the first Surgeon ( if you can call him that) had botched the surgery and had put a screw in the spinal canal and it was rubbing her nerves when she moved a certain way! The new Neuro basically saved her life and removed all the hardware and re-did the procedure, it has now been several years later she has NEVER had a similar episode and lives a normal life! Fortunately for me my Severe episodes have not returned but I am still amazingly sore after 12 weeks, have a slight numbness in my right foot and numbness in my right Quad all of which I did not have before the surgery. I'm hoping Long term I will be better than before and will be able to return to Golf , Skiing. Wakeboarding and Ice hockey ( all of which I could do before surgery but did have weakness and non-stop pain some-days) ...........if not I'll regret having this Fusion!!!
  • going to care about your physical well-being as much as you are! Make the doctor listen, and if s/meh won't, go elsewhere.

    I'm aghast that you'd be told it was in your head. Wotta jerk.

    Wishing all of you well.
    4 level ACDF, C3-C7 with iliac bone crest graft with hardware on August 22nd.
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