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Muscle spasm questions

Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,554
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
After a TLIF:

1. Did you have muscle spasms after this surgery?

2. Do muscle spasms generally start to happen quickly after surgery?

3. Can they begin later on in the recovery period?

4. Where do they usually occur, near or around the incision?

5. If you had them, how did they feel - was it sharp pain or dull aching pain?

6. Was the onset of the spasm usually due to action or not?



  • Hi Cath!I had some within the first few days of surgery.They happen across the incision areas,but also places that you wonder why---my left leg was the issue with this fusion,but I had a spasm in my right bootie!At 5 weeks post-op I have them also right above the incision area-probably because of the strain of sitting,or tensing my back without realizing it.My calf muscles have spasmed,but that is the leg trying to readjust.I do realize I seem to get these after walking,moving around the house--I hope this helps!
  • You know? This is a REALLY good question... just in general.

    I have often wondered what other people consider to be an actual muscle spasm and how they would describe them.

    Prior to my spinal injury and thoracic surgery, I always considered a muscle spasm to be like a quivering, twitching sensation with associated pain. But when I started to describe my back "contractions" (very similar to what a labor contraction feels like... hard and constricted pain) to my Pain Management doctor after my surgery... she told me these were muscle spasms.

    Any way... it will be good to hear what others say regarding this question.

    Hope you have a good weekend, filled with lots of salad! I laugh every time I read your MIL story about being bogged down with the starches. Not laughing at you being in pain or suffering... just the way you told the story is hilarious. :)

    Take good care,


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  • Th muscles in my back feel tight and burn.
    I'm not sure if thats musle spasms but it usually occurs shortly after ive been up and about for a few hours.
    I had muscle spasms really bad after surgery in the incision area for a few days.
  • I am almost 12 weeks post op and the muscle pain in my upper back and abdomen are almost unbearable. I had a 2 level fusion from l4-s1 with hardware. The first 6 weeks since I was resting so much i did not have to many issues with muscle pain. But now it is just awful. I have a constant ache and burning pain in my upper back and my abs hurt so bad that they are sore if you push on them. I know they say that your muscles have to readjust after surgery, but this is ridiculous. I go to pt 2x a week and they say my muscles are like rocks. I wonder if maybe I am keeping my muscles tense to protect my back but i make a conscience effort to try to relax. I have not had any sharp pains like what others have described but just a constant burning ache/pain feeling...sighhhhhhhh
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,630
    I am many years since I have had any spinal surgery.
    I have had the number of Thoracic herniation and a re-occurring L4/L5 situation, plus my shoulder problems.

    From the end of each of my surgeries and still now, I get muscle spasms frequently.

    For me, the majority of times are:

    1- While staying idle for a long period of time. I can get leg/foot/stomach/upper back spasms

    2- While sleeping, if I put pressure on my shoulders, they will normally go numb, but then I get spasms on the side of my ribs

    3- Again while sleeping, so often (especially the leg with some of the dead nerves), it will spasm, or more often I get charlie horses in the calf or toes.

    4- Bending certain ways will generate spasms on one side of my ribs or the other.

    5- When I over work my cervical area, my neck will twitch , lock up and spasm a bit.

    For all of the above, the are always sharp and most of the time, I am not sure when it will happen.
    Nothing I can think that is close to any of my incision areas, but then again, there is nothing but scar tissue there because of the years go bye.

    I seriously believe that my muscle relaxer medication is more important than my nerve medication.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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  • I had spasms prior to and after surgery. They range from sharp to dull depending on when I last took a muscle relaxer. I have also noticed they are the worst if I sleep long periods. I think that is why I wake so often. They are almost always at the surgical site or my right buttocks. Hope that helps. I am 13 weeks post op as of Monday 2/8.

  • I have wondered also if I am causing my own problems because I tense my body-be glad to get some stretches or something-the heating pad helps abit
  • Do you have any muscle relaxers? Gweniverre,Sounds like maybe PT is causing some, and you are still very early out of surgery. You havnt been very active and now PT, so muscle relaxers may help. I am not advocating meds, just know that when I had mine, I got bad spasms, and my muscles are still hard. I have to take muscle relaxers for muscle spasms.
  • i have muscle relaxers (flexeril) but they just make me go to sleep, so i try really hard not take anything. And yes, like you my muscles are really hard, my hubby keeps telling me to be patient, that it takes time, but I am so tired of the muscle pain, all day everyday. Hoping that the pt will strengthen, toughen me up so my muscles are not so upset all the time. I guess I will just have to be patient.
  • PT with a good therapist is priceless. THose muscles were meant to work but they have been kept idle for so long. It hurts to get them moving but once they get going you will be so happy.
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