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Old 09-10-2008, 11:47 PM   #1
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Muscle spasms after THR/tub baths/going to floor

I was told by my surgeon's PA to expect to have some muscle spasms as I healed. I've started to get a few--but only at night when I lay down to go to sleep. They aren't really painful but keep me from dropping off. Mostly they nudge me awake. A few times it's helped if I just get out of bed and sit up for a while in a chair. Other times, taking a pain pill helps--if only to allow me to drop off. The spasms don't happen every night. Tpnight they are making me totally awake and irritated because I'm really tired!

Does anyone know what causes this? Is it just a side effect of healing? Or could it be caused by lots of naps/lying down for extended periods of time. (I fancy that I notice spasms more on days when I've napped a lot). Any suggestions for how to cope with them?

Also, am wondering when others were given permission to take tub baths. I'm assuming it will be sometime after 12 weeks? I have not been prescribed regular PT and so don't have a therapist to ask about when you can do this and how to get down safely. I will, of course ask my surgeon and his PA about this at my upcoming 8 week post surgery visit in October. Hopefully someone will be able to show me how to get down safely at appropriate point in time.

Now, back to try to sleep....we are fretting too about hurricane's in Texas and I'm glad that I'm a few weeks into recovery and not just out of surgery. I hope that Houston residents will just see some rain, and will have to shelter in place if worse comes to worse...watching the weather news just makes us all crazy. I have to keep reminding my neighbors that our neighborhood is not in a flood plane and that we didn't even lose electricity at last hurricane...

Good night all!

Maggie

 
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Old 09-11-2008, 06:54 AM   #2
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Re: Muscle spasms after THR/tub baths/going to floor

Hi Maggie:

I did a lot of lying down, alternating with doing household chores, walking around, etc. I never had any muscle spasms. I wonder if you are overdoing or doing too much at one time? I can only speak from my own experience. Are you doing the on the bed exercises to keep your thigh muscles strong? Don't over do them, of course.

Can't speak to the tub baths. I haven't even considered getting into the bathtub. In my case, because my other knee and hip now seem to be acting up and I can't imagine being able to get into that tub, much less getting out. Maybe you can phone your surgeon and ask abut this, or maybe you are due for a routine check with him/her soon and then you can ask?

My sister lives in a suburb of Houston, so she also is keeping an eye on Ike. Her son has a second home in the hills, to which they will all go if things get to looking bad.

Shirley H.

 
Old 09-11-2008, 07:44 AM   #3
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Re: Muscle spasms after THR/tub baths/going to floor

Hi Maggie,
I have been plagued with muscle spasms which started as soon as I was awake after the surgery. They were primarily in the muscles at the top of my thigh and others nearby. At first, it was like labor with no baby- every 10 minutes another painful contraction. Could not get up and walk around, they could not stop them. I had an epidural but they had had to turn that down from an 8 to a 6 and for the other small discomfort I was having they gave me demerol shots which helped the muscle spasms for about 2 to 3 hours. They were also giving me a drug called toradol (sp) which they said was to relax me and for soreness. Each drug was given at 8 hour intervals. They quickly learned to vary the time resulting in a shot ever 4 hours each of which helped for a few hours and then the spasms would set in worse as the medication was wearing off. It was a nightmare- I didn't sleep the first two nights at all. I asked the OS to send me home with some muscle relaxers as well, which he did.
At home I muddled through the first day on the narcotics/muscle relaxers. I quickly learned that the spams which started after a couple hours from taking the drugs were worse than the pain so I stopped all narcotics and started taking extra strength tylenol every 4 hours and a Xanax at night. The Xanax helped the most but I was afraid to take more than one a night cuz they are so addictive. Hubby went to my primary care physician and spoke with her about it. She said to take the Xanax several times a night so I could sleep, and not to worry about addiction cuz it would not last that long.
She had originally given me the Xanax for restless leg syndrome and I was having to take them about once a week especially on days we had ridden in the car a lot or I had been inactive.
The first few nights I took 3 every night, one about every 4 hours which is about when one would wear off. Now I am down to one when I go to bed and sometimes none. On a recent car trip of 3 hours several times over a 2 day period, when I got home a went to my recliner to sit down, the spasms set in and I immediadely started doing my PT exercises which is the only thing that has given me any relief other than the Xanax.
The evening of my first PT visit I had no spams at all. At 11 that night I told my husband I was afraid to go to bed cuz I was enjoying the spasm free time. Each PT visit has made it better and as soon if they start at home cuz I have been too long sitting or riding, I immediately do my PT and it relieves. Somehow I believe my spasms are related to the restless leg syndrom which may be coming from arthritis in my back. Don't have any pain with them anymore because I have some muscular development which had atrophied due to the joint being damaged but it was very painful at first and I thought for a while the spasms were going to pull my knee cap off. This has been a nightmare for me- the surgery was nothing compared to what I have gone through with these spasms and no one seems to know anything about this. My OS gave me the muscle relaxers but when I went back for the first follow up visit and told him about the primary physician giving me the okay to use the Xanax, he said, "Oh science has proven beyond a doubt that Xanax and Valuum are the only drugs that relieve that". Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh? Why didn't he prescribe this when I left the hospital.
Haven't posted this before cuz I feel sort like a freak cuz no one else has mentioned this but if this helps ANYONE and prevents them from having to go through what I went through and am still dealing with it will be worth this long post I have written. Good luck!!!!!!
Darlene

 
Old 09-12-2008, 09:57 PM   #4
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Re: Muscle spasms after THR/tub baths/going to floor

Darlene, I am four weeks post op THR and yes, those spasms can be difficult. I'm grateful not to have the "old" pain. I gave up all pain medication at two weeks post op. I'm just taking tylenol extra strength now. I find walking thru those spasms helps and I still sleep with a pillow between my legs (I'm a side sleeper). I haven't been able to take a tub bath in months and I long for the day when I can. Going to the floor??? Uh, no, can't do that. I just began sitting on my sofa without difficulty/pain.
Best wishes, Stella

 
Old 09-14-2008, 01:52 PM   #5
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Re: Muscle spasms after THR/tub baths/going to floor

I had spasm with all 4 of my THR's (all on the left hip). I was told part of this is the result of how the hip itself needs dislocated to remove the ball and some of the femure. As someone posted, after my 3rd replacement I could literally time my spasms almost as if it were labor, it was horrible.

My last replacement, about two years ago I found the problem was in my calves after sitting for too long and lasted for weeks. I found massaging them and making sure I didn't sit for more than an hour at a time helped tremendously. They do go away over time.

There are many muscle relaxors out there and each person reacts differently but Valium is actually one of the better ones. It is used for anxiety but many good surgeons use it to control spasms.

I would ask your doctor about taking a bath. I know it was months before I was allowed but I also have very cautious doctors due to the number of replacements I had in such a short span of time.

Good luck
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:12 AM   #6
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Arrow Re: Muscle spasms after THR/tub baths/going to floor

hello.
i had THR on the right hip, 9/5/08.
i keep asking my PT when I can walk the length of a theme park.

i also have a good 3/4 - 5/8 inch length difference.
got some of those acrylic lifts off the internet.
haven't tried them in sandals yet.
i came searching for lift ideas and if my crocs and other molded shoes could be resoled or built up.

i have groin pain sometimes at night.
my leg can't completely lay flat when lying on my back.
still have to put a pillow under the knee.

i can't sleep on the incision side yet.
it begins to throb after about 5-10 minutes.

i walk with a cane and have knee pain in the right knee.
i'm trying to adjust the lift to relieve the knee pain per what my PT said.
he keeps telling me to go higher.

anyone have any shoes built up?
idea of pricing?
guess you can't take all your shoes to the shoe repair, can you?
have to choose which ones to spend your money on?

i had vertigo-light headedness for a good 4 weeks, after surgery.
it's subsiding now... but there's still some remnants.

i began driving at 4 weeks.
came off pain killers around a week of being home.
now i take the occasional tylenol for pain.

went into a store by myself at 4 weeks, with cane.

it hurts to put the weight on my right knee, and therefore, use the cane to walk.
i was on my walker for 4 weeks.
i haven't attempted to do any floor exercises yet.

i have a 9 inch incision going down my hip.

if i can think of anything else in my rehabilitation, i'll post.
the length descrepincy bothers me more than anything..
and i live in south florida, and all of my shoes are open toed shoes,
molded, etc.....
i don't wear enclosed shoes.
so.... this has been an issue for me.
but my PT guy told me to get on the lifts ASAP before i do damage to my back, and other leg.

 
Old 10-10-2008, 03:08 PM   #7
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Re: Muscle spasms after THR/tub baths/going to floor

Hi PilotGal:

You wrote you had a right hip replacement 9/05/08. Is this a typo? Do you mean '07?

If you really did just have the hip done one month ago, this being 10/10/08 today, it seems to me you are rather rushing things to expect to walk the whole distance of a theme park any time soon, for instance. We visited Disney World some years ago, and I wasn't having walking problems then - and sure was tired after a day of going around there. I wouldn't do that right now, with my new hip - no way! My husband used a wheelchair - ordinarily he used Canadian crutches (post polio age 1939).

I have no personal experience with uneven leg lengths so can't speak to that.

It might be a good idea to go to closed shoes for "the duration". They would give more support and you could add the lifts.

I also have found a walker to give more even support than a cane and much prefer the walker for balance too. Personal preference on my part but I have heard this from others too. I still use my walker when getting up at night, for safety and comfort.

I had my right hip replaced December 12, 2007. Have had a perfect recovery and rehab and will have my final, anniversary exam from hip surgeon on December 12. He has been very pleased with my recovery. I tell him he did a wonderful job himself!

I am no doctor or nurse but I do think you are expecting too much too soon in your recovery. Just my personal opinion.

Shirley H.

 
Old 10-10-2008, 06:15 PM   #8
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Re: Muscle spasms after THR/tub baths/going to floor

Hello Pilotgal,
I agree with Shirley H. It is way too early to be expecting so much from yourself.
It took about 8 weeks to sleep on the surgery side for more than 20 minutes. I still wake up hurting, the surgery side, after about two hours on either side, and have to straighten out on my back for a while.
I also have the leg length discrepency and have read from other sources that one should not use the lifts for about 6 months cuz most people find that the surgery leg will "settle" to the correct length only if lifts are not used. I was using them to relieve discomfort in my back on that side but stopped using them around the house and only use them when going out of the house like to the store where one would walk more. I hope this particular theory is true cuz I am not looking forward to wearing lifts forever. removed they work great in my Crocs which I have lived in since the surgery.
Have not used painkillers since a day and a half after coming home except for Tylenol extra strength and the occasional Darvocet. Am still using the walker during the night, as Shirley said, it is more stable, and also in the evenings after hard days. The cane is too much trouble but I did use it for a time when going out. Had knee pain before the surgery only if I limped excessively on the affected side. Try to "walk through" with each step and not limp, this may help. I am also still icing the surgery site at times just cuz it feels good, usually at night or after long car rides.
Hope this helps,
Darlene

Last edited by HBMod07; 10-11-2008 at 06:11 AM. Reason: Directing searches is not permitted

 
Old 10-10-2008, 08:44 PM   #9
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Re: Muscle spasms after THR/tub baths/going to floor

Thanks to all for comments to my original questions. I kind of lost track of this question because hurricane Ike the next day after I posted. I'm doing great on operated leg, walking better and leaving my cane all over the place because I forget about it.

I am now able to sleep on non-operated side for about 20 minutes at a pop. Haven't tried to sleep on operated side because incision is too tender. Still, the 20 minutes gives me some relief for my back (I hate sleeping on my back).

As for lifts in shoe, I do put one in my left shoe when walking a lot because doctor told me knee pain was referred pain from my non-operated hip (my left hip) which will also need to be replaced someday. He also said that in most cases leg discrepancy will resolve itself in about 6 months--and that it was best to not wear lifts till then. But, he said 1/4 heel lift would be ok for me when walking a lot because knee was so painful. I was just relieved that I hadn't actually damaged left knee.

Pilotgal--I am wondering if your non-operated hip is also in bad shape and wonder whether you are having referred pain like me? Is the knee that's hurting the non-operated knee? You might want to check the non-operated hip out if you haven't done so already.

I don't plan to have second operation until I am fully recovered, (and my family and coworkers have recovered from the time off for first surgery). Right now left hip is on a scale of 1 or 2 in comparison to how the right hip felt before surgery (about 12 on a scale of 1-10)

Maggie

 
Old 10-11-2008, 05:58 AM   #10
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Re: Muscle spasms after THR/tub baths/going to floor

To Maggie:

I remember how very nervous you were before your hip replacement surgery, and here you are now, doing so well! Your experiences sound exactly the same as mine in your current stage.

Shirley H.

 
Old 10-11-2008, 06:08 PM   #11
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Re: Muscle spasms after THR/tub baths/going to floor

I know! And you were one of the first people to give me advice! I really appreciated it.

Now that you are approaching one year anniversary are you making plans to do the other hip? Or will you wait for a while longer? I don't want to rush and get second hip done for a while--need to recover, but am pretty sure I won't wait as long as I waited to get first hip done.

Maggie

Last edited by Larimergirl; 10-11-2008 at 06:08 PM.

 
Old 10-12-2008, 06:54 AM   #12
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Re: Muscle spasms after THR/tub baths/going to floor

Hi Maggie:

I am so glad that what I had to say about my hip replacement recovery and rehab were helpful to you. I stay on this board because the reports and tips made by previous people were so helpful to me. I really couldn't have gone through it without all that help.

As for the next, left hip, replacement - I will wait to see what my hip surgeon has to say about that this December. I was told that the left hip was less seriously in need of replacement than the right.

Now for quite a few months I have had serious knee/thigh/groin pain in my left leg,that makes me limp, but a couple extra strength acetaminophen tablets every 24 hours take the edge off. However, I dislike taking any meds at all. I don't know if this is just knee pain, or referred pain from my left hip. Probably the hip surgeon will know the answer.

I am just about ready emotionally to have another surgery for my other hip. It does take a while to get one's head around going through those weeks of sleeping on the back, though! That for me was the worst part. I just can't sleep on my back. I do not mind the recovery from surgery or the post op exercises. My muscles seem to be strong and in good shape. So I do think the other hip replacement is in the near future for me.

So glad you are doing so well. Please do keep posting to help and encourage others.

Shirley H.

 
Old 10-12-2008, 09:30 AM   #13
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Re: Muscle spasms after THR/tub baths/going to floor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Swan View Post
Hi PilotGal:
You wrote you had a right hip replacement 9/05/08. Is this a typo? Do you mean '07?
no.. no typo.
and i was kidding when i asked about the theme park.
i have booked a christmas cruise, and know i won't be ziplining or cave tubing anytime soon.

you have a great holiday!

 
Old 10-12-2008, 09:35 AM   #14
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Re: Muscle spasms after THR/tub baths/going to floor

that was the worse part for me, as well..
sleeping on the back.

i can sleep on my left side now...
body pillow helps here.

i'm still on a cane because i still have pain in my right knee.
haven't been able to put any weight on my knee for 2 yrs.
finally got the hip surgery, 2 yrs after miniscus surgery on the knee.

i'm really hoping that i'm going to be able to walk like a normal person..
somewhere down the road.

and my PT guy told me to walk on lifts ASAP so that i don't destroy my lumbar, my knees or the left side.

**forgot to mention, my surgeon never fessed up to the leg discrepency.
he told me not to worry about it.
my PT guy told me he's been working with HR patients for years, and the leg never really evens out. that's saying that your pelvic bone is going to change.

just telling as i've been told.

Last edited by PilotGal; 10-12-2008 at 09:37 AM.

 
Old 10-12-2008, 11:19 AM   #15
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Re: Muscle spasms after THR/tub baths/going to floor

To PilotGal:

Glad to hear you are kidding about the theme park. Are you also kidding about going on a cruise during the holidays? I don't know about the feasibility and comfort of that one! I went on one cruise in my life and I sure would not want to go on one soon after a hip replacement. What about those iffy chairs to sit on? What about the possibility of uncertain deck stability? I guess I am just a big chicken!

Of course, I am not a good sailor and get seasick, so that would influence my thinking too.


I am sorry that you are having to deal with uneven leg lengths. There are posters on this board who have dealt with that problem. I wonder if their legs got back to being even with each other? Would be helpful to hear from these veterans.

Shirley H.

 
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