Post microdiscectomy surgery muscle spasms

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Had straightforward (right side) L5/S1 microdiscectomy 10 Sep 2014, . Was a bit stiff and wound quite painful, but sciatic pain gone. Had a week feeling greatish (as well as can be expected!). However almost a week to the day of discharge woke up in early hours with excruciating cramp across muscles of lower back, right buttock, thigh and calf. Tried all the cramp "tricks", stretching leg, trying to "walk it off" etc nothing worked. Finally gave in and called GP out Sunday morning. He seemed to think was a short term reaction to op and gave me couple of days worth of diazepam 2mg. Took 1 3 times that day, absolutely no relief. Upped to 4mg which released spasms for couple of hours. GPs, nurse, PT etc all think its normal, but its been 2weeks now and all I do is get up, showered, dressed, and walk to end of garden and back before the spasms are so bad I'm crying with the pain (& I'm really not that kind of person!) . I have diazepam still, but I'm really scared of getting hooked, so I'm really carefully to only take 6 in day an 2 when I wake up at 3am. What I really need to know is how much longer these will go on?? I cant start proper PT cos I cant drive to hospital, cant sit in waiting room etc and the PT is only prescribed for my back and said he cant do anything until spasms go. Feel like I'm stuck between rock and a hard place ?!?

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi julie, try to get another MRI done. I had a discectomy last year but within months my symptoms returned. An MRI showed another disc prolapse so I'm due for surgery again. Not what you want to hear bit if you're in this much pain, something's amiss and a scan will tell you what's going on? 
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    • Posted

      Thanks Molly, after lots of chasing around, my surgeon has finally agreed to see me a month earlier than my original follow up appointment so will ask him to refer me for another MRI when I see him next week. I'm also getting a gentle massage of my thigh and calf muscles on Monday to see if that gives any short term relief
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    • Posted

      I had the surgery in April and may, thought I was doing great till I got out of bed and my legs felt like I was getting electrocuted and the spasp are so bad my body goes stiff is all this normal?
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  • Posted

    Did you finally get over the spasms, if so how? I had the same surgery 21 months ago and I am still having the pain. I started PT one week ago and I am hoping this helps.

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  • Posted

    Hi Julie

    Did ur muscle spasm go away?I had mine after 6 month I'm still struggling. I need to know....thanks

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    • Posted

      Fyi: I started Pt 2 months ago. I have the most amazing therapist. The spasms gave gotten much better. It seems that when I don't get PT or stretch myself, I have the spasms but not as long. If I am walking or sleepin and the spasms starts, I sit on chair and bend over almost like fold over and stretch my back. It had made a Hugh difference. You need to have your spine stretched. It will help.. Keep me posted..

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  • Posted

    I had surgery in April 2016 on my L4/L5 and woke up out of recovery in severe muscle spasms in my back, hip, and down my right leg.  I have tried everything and continue to: hot tub, heating pad, ice, pain cream, stetching every day and several times a day, inversion table, tins unit, baclofen, and go to the chiropractor weekly. My chiropractor has helped the most. He stretches me a lot!!! I've slowly made some progress and am maybe 70% better. If anyone else has any ideas please let me know. I'm desperate to get rid of these spasms, numbness, needles in my leg and foot, etc. I also have stinosos in my L5/S1 and I don't know if I get that fixed will help or add more spasms. It's hard to go to work daily sad

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    • Posted

      Penny87335,

      I am still going for PT. It's made a big difference. I am 95% better. Physical therapist works much better on me than a chiropractor. Try PT, they have different training.... When making an appointment, ask for someone that has worked with back cases. Good luck and keep me posted..

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    • Posted

      I had to leave work on a temporary short term disability due to pain being too severe. I started physical therapy a couple weeks ago which has given me some relief but after couple hours it just comes right back. I had steroid injection in my right leg joint and SI joint which tamed some of the pain. Couple days ago had a steroid epidural injection and was on a steroid med pack week prior. All that has brought pain level down from 10 to a 7. I had an MRI recently done which showed L4L5 disk herniation, severe CNS and right side stenosis along with two mild buldging disks below. My spine is curved at the bottom due to spasms pulling so hard. This is becoming so depressing and am in so much pain all the time. I can't enjoy anything. I'm hanging in there but this is seriously getting old. I want my life back. Too young for all this :-/

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    • Posted

      I feel your pain. I have to continue stretching almost daily to avoid such spasms. That's the only thing that will help you. Anti-inflammatorys do not really help spasms. They wanted me to get an epidural but I refused. What I felt that happened after my surgery, the spine is no longer properly aligned which causes the spasms. I am 50% better or more and 90 % if I continue to stretch. ..

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