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Old 04-23-2011, 06:19 PM   #1
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Smile Muscle spasms after ankle surgery

I am looking for information about how to alleviate muscle spasms in my calf muscle. I had surgery on March 14, 2011. It is called osteotomy, open osteochondral grafting of the medial talus. (something like that--hard to read the surgeon's writing).

My recovery has gone well, but in the past week, I have had some aches in my ankle (like a dull throbbing) and muscle spasms in my calf. I thought that perhaps I was dehydrated or lacked potassium. After downing some Gatorade and aleve, it dissipated slightly, but I am still having mild to moderate spasms. Should I take more Aleve or vitamins, Gatorade, or what?

I still have a fiberglass cast on, and am scheduled to have it taken off and replaced with a boot in three days.

Is this normal?

I really want to have a successful recovery. I'm willing to do whatever it takes!

 
Old 04-23-2011, 06:32 PM   #2
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Re: Muscle spasms after ankle surgery

I had a calcaneal osteotomy and several other flat foot reconstruction proceedures. I definitely experienced spasms for several weeks post op. I you have any concerns, you should speak with your surgeon to be sure that what you are experiencig is normal

 
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:37 PM   #3
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Re: Muscle spasms after ankle surgery

Thank you. I have found that I don't really know what 'normal' is. It seems like I have combed through my paperwork a dozen times, looking for the answer. Their office is closed for the weekend, so I do appreciate the feedback from a fellow patient.

Thanks again!

 
Old 04-23-2011, 07:55 PM   #4
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Re: Muscle spasms after ankle surgery

After my ankle ligament surgery, I had spasms in my fibularis muscles. It was worst when I was in the cast. It got a lot better once I was in the boot, and they disappeared once I was out of the boot.

It's probably a combination of the immobilization and the surgery. If they aren't too bad, don't worry about it. If it's really painful or affecting your ability to sleep, mention it to the doctor.

 
Old 04-23-2011, 08:30 PM   #5
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Re: Muscle spasms after ankle surgery

In all 5 surgeries I've had, i've experienced cramps and muscle spasms like that. They put me in tears sometimes. They are worse the past couple surgeries I've had. The only way i can tolerate mine is massage my calf, even though it hurts like heck while you are doing it. And also I use moist heat on it...I've tried eating more Potassium and fluids but i've had to get muscle relaxers to take at night in order to sleep. Talk to your dr but I highly doubt anythings wrong. Mine is just because I cant move it around. Once you are mobile again i think you will be fine

 
Old 04-23-2011, 11:58 PM   #6
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Cool Re: Muscle spasms after ankle surgery

Thanks for all the feedback. It really helps to hear from people who are going through this process. Even though I worked hard to make sure I was completely prepared for this, I still have questions and you guys have provided the answers. Best of luck to you!

 
Old 04-24-2011, 06:36 PM   #7
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Re: Muscle spasms after ankle surgery

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Originally Posted by Dobja View Post
Thanks for all the feedback. It really helps to hear from people who are going through this process. Even though I worked hard to make sure I was completely prepared for this, I still have questions and you guys have provided the answers. Best of luck to you!

 
Old 04-24-2011, 06:45 PM   #8
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Re: Muscle spasms after ankle surgery

Hi again,

I have a question about driving my car.

Since both of my vehicles are 5 speeds, I am curious about how hard it may be to operate my clutch. My left ankle is the one that is healing.

Has anyone been able to drive with a boot? I don't plan on doing this, and am concerned about driving safely, of course.

I am scheduled to return to work two weeks after getting my boot, so I will have to take it off to drive.

Does anyone have a recommendation for an ankle brace or support? I thought that this would allow me to transition into unassisted walking after the boot is no longer required.

Thanks!

 
Old 04-24-2011, 06:54 PM   #9
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Re: Muscle spasms after ankle surgery

Driving with a boot is possible, but is illegal in many states Depending on your injury, The Arizona AFO brace is amazing. Honestly, it helped me out tremendously. But it is a prescribed brace. You cant wear the prettiest shoes with it but it is the best i've ever had.

 
Old 04-24-2011, 06:56 PM   #10
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Re: Muscle spasms after ankle surgery

And also, mine is my right ankle so I've spent a lot of time unable to drive. It is no fun at all.

 
Old 04-24-2011, 07:59 PM   #11
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Re: Muscle spasms after ankle surgery

I drove with my right foot in a boot after surgery. I had my surgery over Christmas at my parents' house, but they live 2 hours away from my house. I had to go back to work about 3 weeks after my surgery, so I had to drive.

I started out practicing in the neighborhood, and was actually surprised at how easy it was. The hardest part was making sure that I was good on switching between the gas and the brake.

Also, keeping my foot hanging down for longer drives was tough at first. I made the 2-hour drive in two parts. The first hour was really rough (even using cruise control), so I stayed overnight with a friend and then it worked out that somebody else drove my car the rest of the way for me. Once I got back into town, I only live 3 miles away from work, so it was easy from there.

I dug around online and couldn't find any laws in my state that said it was illegal for me to drive with the boot. I didn't really ask my surgeon, because that way it wouldn't be on my record that he told me no.

Even harder than driving with the boot, was driving when I got out of the boot. I didn't really think about it at all, and actually thought that there was something wrong with my brakes. The first time I hit the brakes, my calf was so weak that the brakes felt really really stiff. It finally occurred to me that the problem was my leg and not the car!

 
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:14 PM   #12
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Re: Muscle spasms after ankle surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by kehorner View Post
I drove with my right foot in a boot after surgery. I had my surgery over Christmas at my parents' house, but they live 2 hours away from my house. I had to go back to work about 3 weeks after my surgery, so I had to drive.

I started out practicing in the neighborhood, and was actually surprised at how easy it was. The hardest part was making sure that I was good on switching between the gas and the brake.

Also, keeping my foot hanging down for longer drives was tough at first. I made the 2-hour drive in two parts. The first hour was really rough (even using cruise control), so I stayed overnight with a friend and then it worked out that somebody else drove my car the rest of the way for me. Once I got back into town, I only live 3 miles away from work, so it was easy from there.

I dug around online and couldn't find any laws in my state that said it was illegal for me to drive with the boot. I didn't really ask my surgeon, because that way it wouldn't be on my record that he told me no.

Even harder than driving with the boot, was driving when I got out of the boot. I didn't really think about it at all, and actually thought that there was something wrong with my brakes. The first time I hit the brakes, my calf was so weak that the brakes felt really really stiff. It finally occurred to me that the problem was my leg and not the car!

 
Old 04-24-2011, 11:27 PM   #13
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Thumbs up Re: Muscle spasms after ankle surgery

Oh crap, I was afraid of these answers. I was trying to avoid having to rent an automatic car to get to work. The cost is pretty high, and considering that I already have two cars and pay all the expenses that go with them, it's frustrating to pay out $300. to rent an automatic for two weeks (or more?) while I am building strength in my left ankle. I am not a person of means however; the cars are both quite old.

I suppose that I should just suck it up and be grateful that I have a healthy right foot which does allow me to drive. Another $300. on a credit card is not preferable, but not worth complaining about at the same time.

Thanks again for the feedback. I suppose none of us can really predict any of these outcomes, so we have to have an endless supply of patience instead!

 
Old 04-25-2011, 12:23 PM   #14
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Re: Muscle spasms after ankle surgery

You may want to go to a vacant lot and test it. You may be able to use the car you have. Mine was on my right side and I drive an automatic. Once you drive in a boot for sooooo long it feels wierd to go back to wearing just a shoe to drive. Feels like you are doing something wrong and have a lot of room between the gas and brake haha. But talk to your dr about the arizona afo brace and see what they say. I dont drive a clutch but I bet you could do it with that brace on or barefoot depending on your condition.

 
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:01 PM   #15
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Re: Muscle spasms after ankle surgery

Thanks for the info. The good thing is that I have a brand new clutch, so it is light to the touch. However, the bad news is that I live in Southern California and drive in rush hour traffic. This means I am often 'riding the clutch' because of stop and go traffic. That is my main concern.

With a boot, I would be concerned that I wouldn't be able to actually feel the clutch pedal. I suppose that I won't know until I try it out, like you said. The parking lot idea is a good one. I will check it out then.

 
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