post L5S1 fusion, laminectomy muscle cramping

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Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Title: Member
Joined: 04/05/2011 - 1:00am
post L5S1 fusion, laminectomy muscle cramping

I'm 7yrs out of surgery and for the past year or 2 my right calf has been cramping and twitching uncontrollably. Sometimes i wake up with a charlie horse or it cramps during swimming. i thought it was maybe dehyrdation or electrolyte abnormalities, but its only the right leg. No sciatica, but the cramping is irritating. Anyone else have same problem and advice? I stretch, massage, exercise etc and am irritated. Thanks

j.howie's picture
Last seen: 10 hours 58 min ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/19/2008 - 7:21pm
Hi Annie

And welcome to S.H. Forums. I get them all of the time. I've had several lumbar surgeries. And never really considered they were a side effect of the surgeries. But they may very well be. They are very irritating. X(
Good luck,Jim

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You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
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Last seen: 11 months 4 days ago
Title: Member
Joined: 10/16/2009 - 5:38am
Yes, I do!

Hi Annie, and welcome to Spine Health.

Yes I suffer with the muscles in my legs and feet twitching, spasming and cramping. I get the spasms and cramping particularly during the night and early morning as I am waking, but also if I have been sitting for a while and then get up. The twitching I get whenever I am relaxing.

I have had cramp in my calves during the night for years, but lately I also get it in the tops of my feet and toes. It is so severe that you can see the muscle pulled rigid and it also either draws my toes up or down tightly. I wonder if this is due to my spine problems.

On the other hand, I have recently been diagnosed with very low levels of Vitamin D and Calcium. Calcium deficiency can cause twitching, spasms and cramping. I am hopeful that the supplement I am taking will help. Have you had your Vitamin D and Calcium checked lately?

To try to help reduce how much cramping I get I drink lots of water, eat bananas (potasium) and I have used Epsom salts in the bath (magnesium). I have also been advised to stretch my calves and feet before going to bed. (I do walk 2 miles a day which is supposed to help the circulation to improve things.)

Nice to have you join our gang. Wave

itsjackieoh's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Title: Member
Joined: 07/18/2010 - 3:42pm

I have the same issue and asked my doctor about it. It turns out that, like Jellyhall, my Vitamin D and Calcium levels were low. This surprised me because I eat a LOT of foods with these nutrients in them. After taking supplements for 6 weeks the cramps don't come every night.
My gosh it is really weird waking up with these leg muscles in spasm!
Keep us posted if you can

Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 05/13/2011 - 1:24am

Had L5S1 fusion 7yrs ago also about 3 yrs ago the same thing started in my right calf and at times it felt like someone was walking behind me kicking me in the calf no amount of stretching would help.

Its now a full blown sciatic nerve pressure. leg hurts cant stand -sit- walk-and sleep. I was sent to an orthopedic surgeon today. He informed me that what can happen is that bone growth can form inside the fusion area putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. this can not be seen by MRI as the hard ware that's in your back distorts the image.

Setting up an EMG and CT now hope to have good news for you and me in 3 to 4 weeks