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Old 04-28-2004, 06:38 AM   #1
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Weeping Willow HB User
ACDF, muscle spasms, and baclofen?

This past Friday I had an ACDF C4-C5. I started having horrible muscle spasms and the doc called me in some Baclofen. I had never heard of it before then. I took one last night and OMG, talk about hallucinations. I hate that stuff! I was groggy enough not to be fully awake but couldn't really "sleep" either, if that makes sense. It was horrible. I do feel better this morning compared to yesterday morning when I got out of bed but I can't tolerate taking anything that makes me feel that way.
Has anyone took this before? What did your doc prescribe for muscle spasms after an ACDF that works well w/out all the side effects? BTW....Due to a medical problem I can't take Somas. Do you think Flexoril would work on these intense spasms?

 
Old 04-28-2004, 07:47 AM   #2
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Rolex HB User
Re: ACDF, muscle spasms, and baclofen?

Hi Weeping Willow, I took Percocet and it worked great for me.
Have you tried that? I have never heard of the drugs you mentioned. I hope you get some relief, I know how painful those muscle spasms can be.
But hang in there, it does get better...
Ava

 
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Old 04-28-2004, 09:14 AM   #3
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pattymelt HB User
Re: ACDF, muscle spasms, and baclofen?

I have been taking Percocet and Flexeril for pain and muscle spasms since my surgery 3/29 and they have helped a lot - some grogginess but better than the pain and spasms. Any of these medications have side effects, but I am able to tolerate these two better than others. Hope you can find something to relieve the spasms without the side effects of Baclofen.

 
Old 04-28-2004, 11:43 AM   #4
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Hurdy HB User
Re: ACDF, muscle spasms, and baclofen?

Hi There, i had ACDF C4-5 and 5-6 on 4/5/04 with double Titanium Cages put in. I was supposed to be healed when i awoke in the recovery room! lol well that wasnt the case and i am still in tremendous pain. Anyway, for your muscle spasms maybe you might want to try Skelaxin. It is a muscle relaxer without all the side effects. You wont be drowsey or tired from taking it like most muscle relaxers make you. As far as pain i agree with the other posts about the percocet. It works pretty good if you dont get relief from the vicoden. ( are you taking vicoden for pain?) About the Baclofen, i have heard of it however, not taken orally. My girlfriend has a severely handicapped son and he has CP and his limbs and body is very tight so the Doc put in a baclofen pump into his lower back. It releases the Baclofen so many times a day and once a month he goes to the Docs and they use a needle to access the pump and refill it with the Baclofen. I know that if they are using the Baclofen on him it is a very powerful drug. Seeing how you did feel better this morning is there a possibility you could cut the dose down and take a lower dose? It may be worth a try unless the Doc can give you something else that works as good without the nasty side effects. Good luck! I know what you are going through!

 
Old 04-28-2004, 08:42 PM   #5
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secondfiddle HB User
Re: ACDF, muscle spasms, and baclofen?

Hi Willow! Glad to see you back!

I have been taking Soma 4x/day along with Darvocet since my ACDF on 4/16. At times I have needed to take Vicodin if the Darvocet didn't work well enough, but not often. I have found when I don't take the Soma, the muscle spasms are really, really bad. So I'm not going to try to cut back on the meds just yet. Soma is a very old and safe drug - I haven't heard of anyone not being able to take it. But definitely call your doctor and tell him you can't tolerate the Baclofen - there are many other possibilities.

Hang in there. You WILL feel better soon. I've actually had two partial days already when I've felt like I could do anything

Bev

 
Old 04-29-2004, 06:08 AM   #6
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Re: ACDF, muscle spasms, and baclofen?

I was prescribed "Robaxin" as a muscle relaxant post-op (ACDF C-6/C-7 on 4/6). I did not experience any debilitating side effects from this med, but did get a little funky from the Percocet. I'm off all pain and muscle relaxant meds as of last weekend and doing much better than I expected at this point. Good luck!

 
Old 04-30-2004, 03:47 AM   #7
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Hurdy HB User
Re: ACDF, muscle spasms, and baclofen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by X-man
I was prescribed "Robaxin" as a muscle relaxant post-op (ACDF C-6/C-7 on 4/6). I did not experience any debilitating side effects from this med, but did get a little funky from the Percocet. I'm off all pain and muscle relaxant meds as of last weekend and doing much better than I expected at this point. Good luck!
Hi X-man, I had ACDF C4-5 and 5-6 with double Titanium Cages put in as well on 4/5/04. I am very happy for you that you are feeling better and able to manage without pain medication. I just wish that i could say the same for myself. I was wondering how old was your injury before you had surgery? Also, when you woke up in recovery, were you "healed" like so many others say they were who had the same surgery? I am still having alot of pain, somedays its not too bad but i seem to have more bad days then good and alot of the times the pain is worse now then before the surgery. The doc prescribed me vicoden 10/500 and skelaxin for the muscle relaxer. I am just 35 years old and immediately after surgery the doc went out to talk to my family and told them that when he got in there the surgery took longer than anticipated because my bones were extremely soft and that he had to be careful screwing the hardware in because with the bone being so soft if he were to overtighten the screws would have stripped out. So he gave me a dx. of having severe osteoporosis. I have alot of bone pain so i guess that would explain why. I am thinking that the osteoporosis may be why i am having trouble healing and having so much pain. However, the neurosurgeon thinks that i should be healed and have no pain like all his other pts. So that just poses a problem because when i call his office they just blow me off. Anyway, i guess maybe i just needed to vent here.....sorry. I am very happy for you that all went well and that you are getting back to normal.

Hurdy

 
Old 04-30-2004, 07:43 AM   #8
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Weeping Willow HB User
Re: ACDF, muscle spasms, and baclofen?

Thanks for all the replies. I called my doc and left a messege that I can not tolerate the baclofen. I'm sure he'll call me in something else. The spasms are somewhat better at this point. Not totally gone like I want them to be but less intense. I am on percocet 5mg every 4 hrs. I try not to take them unless I absolutely need them. I'm so scared of becoming addicted to any type of drug that I would rather suffer the pain than form a habit. Has anyone had any probs getting off the narcs after healing? Do you taper off or just stop?
BTW Hurdy.....I woke up in recovery to the sounds of screams. They were mine. The nurse shot me full of Morphine and 10minutes later I was still screaming. As bad as I feel lately I would bet that if I had to do it over again, I wouldn't. Today has only been a week for me tho and hopefully things will start to turn around soon. Good luck to you and to everyone that has went thru this. It's sure not a day at the park.

 
Old 04-30-2004, 08:00 AM   #9
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Re: ACDF, muscle spasms, and baclofen?

Please know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I had ACDF for c/4,c/5,and c/6 with synthetic disks on 3/5/04 and am back to 1/2 time, doing great with therapy, and truly pain free. I will say that the muscle spasms I had right after surgery were the worst pain I have ever encountered in my life and I am not a stranger to surgeries. I was scared to death that the Dr. had done something terribly wrong. I was suppose to be in and out of the hospital in 24 hours, but was in for 4 days because nothing would touch the pain -- even morphine. He explained that because there was nothing left of my two disks that the nerves were completely flattened as was my spinal cord. When he released the pressure off of the nerves, they went bonkers and continued to go bonkers for several weeks. I went home on vicoden and flexoril and the flexoril really made me sleepy but it stopped the spasms, and after the first two weeks I was able to cut back on that significantly. I have had nothing for pain now for three weeks and am getting stronger every day. The numbness in my fingers is diminishing and I can get in and out of the bathtub all by myself! Hang in there -- it will get better with time.

 
Old 04-30-2004, 08:03 AM   #10
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X-man HB User
Re: ACDF, muscle spasms, and baclofen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurdy
Hi X-man, I had ACDF C4-5 and 5-6 with double Titanium Cages put in as well on 4/5/04. I am very happy for you that you are feeling better and able to manage without pain medication. I just wish that i could say the same for myself. I was wondering how old was your injury before you had surgery? Also, when you woke up in recovery, were you "healed" like so many others say they were who had the same surgery?
Hurdy
Hi Hurdy,

I can’t trace my problem specifically, but I believe it was probably a hockey-related injury that might have occurred up to 20+ years ago (I’m 47 now). I would have infrequent flare-ups 2-3 times/yr. where I’d have severe pain from L. shoulder blade up neck and around shoulder. But visits to chiro and icing helped it go away in a week or so. About 2 yrs ago after a strenuous remodeling project, I started having more pain and it extended down my L. arm. Chiro didn’t help this time. With age, I believe my body wasn’t resilient enough to “heal itself” and swelling would not decrease enough to eliminate pain. An MRI showed the disk problem and surgery was advised. My neurosurgeon confirmed this, but he advocated PT as a more conservative approach at first along with a brief steroid regimen. That really didn’t help, but I wanted to avoid surgery if possible, so I just lived with the pain. About last Christmas it got worse and I also started having numbness/tingling in arm down to my hand. It also felt like I had a tourniquet or something wrapped around my armpit area and I felt like my whole arm was “under pressure.” So I finally gave in and had the surgery on 4/6.

I too was told I’d be “pain free” after surgery but I can’t say that was the case. I had quite a bit of pain laterally across my upper shoulder blades immediately post-op, which they said may have been due to positioning on the operating table. I used ice on that area (and I still will occasionally use an ice pack on my neck/upper back to help the aches). I expected the incision site would have some pain, but that actually pretty much went away in a week or so (still a little lump there and hurts if you press on it, but otherwise fine). I still have occasional sharper pains around my spinal column at base of neck, which I assume is where they did the procedure and it’s just healing up. I’d say the numbness is 90% gone. I still have some shoulder pain and a little arm pain down to my elbow, but it’s definitely much much better. FYI, my wife is an RN/circulating nurse in the local hospital’s operating room and she’s been asking the ortho surgeons and others about recovery from this. She was told that you should expect it to take one month for every millimeter of spinal cord area to fully recover (and therefore for pain to subside) after being damaged in this way. Also, my NS said that the numbness might take up to 6 months to completely subside, so patience is the key.

I’m sorry you’re still feeling pretty crummy. Sounds like you had more extensive work done and have some other complications with bone density to deal with. Also, my neuro apparently is one of the few around using this Rabea implant system for this type of surgery. It is a small plastic polymer device which is placed between the vertebrae, packed with donor bone and then a cage is fitted around it. It has “teeth” which bite into the upper/lower vertebrae and the area is abraded a bit to stimulate blood flow and eventually the area fuses naturally. It’s not an artificial disk. But it doesn’t require screws or plates and his experience is that it’s extremely stable post-op. He’s used it in over 200 procedures and claims it has a great track record with less post-op pain than other methods. So far I’m a believer. I did not need a collar, but did use one briefly as a precaution.

I wish you well in your recovery. By all means bug your doctor for some answers. They’re supposed to be working for YOU! I know how easy it is to get “down” when you have to sit around hurting. We didn’t go through all of this to still have pain, and that’s got to be frustrating for you. But I’m betting that patience and time will lead you to a good outcome. Keep the faith!!

 
Old 05-01-2004, 09:46 PM   #11
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garion64 HB User
Re: ACDF, muscle spasms, and baclofen?

sorry for a dumb question but there is so much talk about muscle spasms could you please explane them a bit to me. im11 days till i have c4 c5 done im getting a little nervious

 
Old 05-05-2004, 03:41 PM   #12
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nero HB User
Re: ACDF, muscle spasms, and baclofen?

Hey there,

I can relate to the muscle spasms being 5 1/2 months approx post op from acdf c5-6 with plate and own bone. Try for muscle spasm TORODAL. I cannot tolerate ibuprofen (as I swell up) and celebrex though it worked it bothered me too. The only thing about Torodal is the bubbly tummy but if you make sure to eat prior to taking it is the best one out there for people who cannot tolerate meds like me. I have Percocet and Ty 3 as well but Perc makes me NOT sleep and major loose bowel and Ty3 is great as long as you take Sennikot natural laxative two in the a.m. and or p.m. or both.

I feel your pain as I am also recovering two weeks post op from microdiskectomy on l5-s1 and it feels like a backwards c-section. Honestly my neck was braced but any movement of your body triggers pain in your lower back incision so what I thought would be a piece of cake surgery has in fact been a lot more than i bargained for - mind your lumbar fusion would have taken the cake.

Bless you sweetie, may you find solace in everyone's input...I could not have done without this board's input... i have incredible spouse who I adore but let's face it (like me) I wouldn't want to hear all the details of his perpetual pain and complaints and so this forum is the best area to vent or debrief ..SO USE IT.

Nearly new again... Nero

 
Old 05-06-2004, 09:01 AM   #13
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grace2 HB User
Re: ACDF, muscle spasms, and baclofen?

Garion64 - The muscle spasms are just muscle cramps. The muscle tightens up and will not relax. It is expected and the doctor will give you medicine to help with it. I'm surprised you have not had any yet. Mine were worse before surgery.

For the people who came out of surgery "healed" - I've heard stories but not many. My doctor told me how good I would feel when I woke up. My husband and I were talking recently and he told me that when I first woke up I kept saying "Go find him and tell him he lied. It hurts!". He says I told him this over and over for quite a while but I don't remember any of it. All I remember is throwing up and feeling horrible. Glad I'm done!!!

 
Old 05-06-2004, 10:30 PM   #14
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secondfiddle HB User
Re: ACDF, muscle spasms, and baclofen?

After surgery, when I woke up in the recovery room, I sat up on the "bed" and kept telling everyone "my back doesn't hurt." I was unsupported and still had no back pain. Of course, I was highly medicated at that point!

Now, my surgery was on C5-6, and my doctor told me he thought this disc was responsible for my mid-back pain (which was actually worse than my neck pain) - I didn't believe him - so I was totally blown away after surgery that THAT pain was gone.

I'm now 3 weeks post-op and it isn't gone anymore I know - give it time. I have actually had about three days of feeling halfway decent, but I'm quite discouraged that the mid-back pain has returned, and that I'm still (again) having the numbness in my left forearm into my ring and pinky fingers.

I also have several "small" thoracic discs (previous T6/7 surgery in 1995), but the doctor didn't think that they were problematic. I sure hope he's right!

I'm also tired of taking all the pain meds, but I absolutely can't stop right now. Hopefully I can wean off in the next few weeks.

 
Old 05-07-2004, 05:35 AM   #15
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garion64 HB User
Re: ACDF, muscle spasms, and baclofen?

thank you for the reply i have had this feeling of The muscle tightens up and will not relax its been very bad in my neck and the delt muscle group on my sholders the sholder pain is what lead me to finding out i have to have c4 c5 done it was getting worse with every work out im a amature bodybuilder and every day in the gym was getting worse and worse i thought it was muscle related so i kept going and going trying to work it out so i made thigs a lot worse on my own live and learn i guess. where my muscles are rather large the word muscle spasm was scareing the heck out of me so thank you for shedding some light on this for me im 3 days away from my surgery and im a bit scared and depressed over this my life is lifting weights and i pray after recovery i can get back on track *sigh* i just want this over with

 
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