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Old 11-26-2012, 05:09 PM   #1
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Exclamation Calf Cramps after Discectomy and Partial Laminectomy of L5?

Hi there,
Almost four weeks ago I had a discectomy and partial laminectomy of my L5 vertebrae. I had a herniated disc at that level, and had lived with the "flair ups" as I liked to call them for about 3.5 years. The pain became so bad in October, that they admitted me to the hospital from the ER and I had the surgery a few days later.

The relief from the back pain has been extraordinary, and such a relief! However in the days prior to the operation I lost feeling in my left leg, and motion in my big toe and ankle. Now the feeling is coming back but in addition, my calf is cramping terribly. I take like 5 steps and I feel the worst charlie horse of my life, like if I take another step my muscle will rip or something. Is this normal? Have any of you had similar experiences?

Thanks

Last edited by Jeschn3; 11-26-2012 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Typo :P

 
Old 11-26-2012, 10:27 PM   #2
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Re: Calf Cramps after Discectomy and Partial Laminectomy of L5?

[QUOTE=Jeschn3;5095041]Hi there,
Almost four weeks ago I had a discectomy and partial laminectomy of my L5 vertebrae. I had a herniated disc at that level, and had lived with the "flair ups" as I liked to call them for about 3.5 years. The pain became so bad in October, that they admitted me to the hospital from the ER and I had the surgery a few days later.

The relief from the back pain has been extraordinary, and such a relief! However in the days prior to the operation I lost feeling in my left leg, and motion in my big toe and ankle. Now the feeling is coming back but in addition, my calf is cramping terribly. I take like 5 steps and I feel the worst charlie horse of my life, like if I take another step my muscle will rip or something. Is this normal? Have any of you had similar experiences?

Thanks [/QUOTE]


Hi jeschn, i dont remember that after surgery. Are you taking frequent, short walks? It could be something as easy to fix as your potassium being to low or something as serious as a blood clot. Post operatively a deep vein thrombosis is a complication. I had a clot go to my lung. Pain in the calf could be indicating that complication. Call or go see your dr right away. I hope that you are on the mend soon. Thank you, gmak

 
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:10 AM   #3
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Re: Calf Cramps after Discectomy and Partial Laminectomy of L5?

I concur with gmak that you should mention this to your doctor as you want to rule out a blood clot. Muscle spasms and cramping occur with some regularity when a nerve has been compressed. Often muscle relaxers are prescribed upon discharge and are taken in the early post recovery period. If your doctor doesn't suggest them, you might want to ask if something like that would help.

Something to be aware of: more than any other prescription medicine I have taken, side effects can vary greatly from one muscle relaxer to another. If one doesn't work for you, tell the doctor and he can change you to a different one.

Be sure to take short frequent walks. Walking around inside the house counts. It is very important to stretch out the spinal nerves in the early post recovery period. Walking is the best way to keep scar tissue from attaching to the spinal nerves as it forms and fills in. So even if you don't feel like it, get up every hour and make a few laps around your house, up and down a hallway...whatever works for your particular-layout. If walking is painful try shortening your stride -- speed and distance are not important in the early days.

When lying in bed or reclining, do simple leg exercises like pointing and flexing the foot. Make small ankle circles, etc.

 
Old 11-28-2012, 07:57 AM   #4
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Re: Calf Cramps after Discectomy and Partial Laminectomy of L5?

[QUOTE=Jeschn3;5095041]Hi there,
Almost four weeks ago I had a discectomy and partial laminectomy of my L5 vertebrae. I had a herniated disc at that level, and had lived with the "flair ups" as I liked to call them for about 3.5 years. The pain became so bad in October, that they admitted me to the hospital from the ER and I had the surgery a few days later.

The relief from the back pain has been extraordinary, and such a relief! However in the days prior to the operation I lost feeling in my left leg, and motion in my big toe and ankle. Now the feeling is coming back but in addition, my calf is cramping terribly. I take like 5 steps and I feel the worst charlie horse of my life, like if I take another step my muscle will rip or something. Is this normal? Have any of you had similar experiences?

Thanks [/QUOTE]

Hello Jeschn,
I had L-5 S1 TLIF surgery 21 days ago and my calf muscles are in constant charlie horse mode. Its sciatica from swelling after surgery is what i was told. A normal phase of recovery. Ask your Dr but do not worry yourself too much. There are lots of phases to this type of recovery. walk as much as you can, it helps me.
Good luck in your healing.
agwhitten

 
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