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post op muscle spasms after ankle surgery

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Old 09-13-2008, 09:12 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: London, England
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dilettante07 HB User
post op muscle spasms after ankle surgery

several weeks ago i broke my ankle very badly, and i've now had two operations to piece together my right fibula and secure it with a metal plate and screws. (i also broke the bone on the inside of my ankle, which is now secured by two pins...)

i seem to be healing normally except that when i'm about to fall asleep i get very bad jolts or muscle spasms throughout my body. this only happens when i'm literally on the verge of falling asleep. the jolts wake me up, and they also aggravate my ankle.

in the evenings i take ativan which helps me sleep and settles the spasms. but if i try to nap during the daytime, the spasms start as soon as my body relaxes and as a result i can't sleep at all. obviously i don't want to take a sedative during the daytime, but the painkillers make me very tired so i would like to sleep a little.

is this normal? any suggestions that are less invasive than a sedative?

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Old 09-13-2008, 09:26 AM   #2
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kimber687 HB Userkimber687 HB Userkimber687 HB Userkimber687 HB Userkimber687 HB Userkimber687 HB Userkimber687 HB User
Re: post op muscle spasms after ankle surgery

Yes, what you are experiencing is common.

After my first ankle surgery I was bothered by them just when I was about to fall asleep as well (and they were so jolting that they hurt) and I asked my surgeon about it and he said it was normal and would stop in a few weeks. They stopped at about 4 weeks post op for me.

Now, being 7 weeks after my second ankle surgery, I also had them just as I was about to fall asleep, but they stopped about 2 weeks ago.

I still get one now and then but they are random throughout the day.

They will get better as your foot heals. Hopefully your foot is in a split or a cast so it cannot move much when it happens so you won't be in much pain when it does.

Good luck

Old 09-18-2008, 09:29 AM   #3
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Location: Ashburn, VA, USA
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more HB User
Re: post op muscle spasms after ankle surgery

I had surgery on 3/13/08 and had them then, and I recently had surgery to remove screws (in August) and I am having these jolts again where my foot pulls down (almost trying to straighten out). The physical therapist told me to stretch before laying down and to ice it just before laying down. This will loosen up the nerves and muscles. This has helped for me in that I have not had it happen for the last two nights since I have been icing just before going to bed. Of course this will only work if you are not in a cast.

Good luck with getting rid of them and if you manage to let me know how you did it.

Old 09-19-2008, 12:03 AM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: London, England
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dilettante07 HB User
Re: post op muscle spasms after ankle surgery

thanks for your message. oddly enough the spasms have stopped on their own - much sooner than after my first surgery. i wish i'd thought of icing, though, as i'm sure it would have helped.

in fact, i'm rather surprised that none of my doctors or nurses have mentioned icing as a post-op measure, as opposed to something you just do in the immediate aftermath of the injury. my sister read something on the internet that suggested i can still ice to relieve pain from swelling etc, so i've done it occasionally and it's actually helped a lot.

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