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Restless Leg Syndrome Message Board

Post-Surgery RLS

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Old 11-26-2003, 10:11 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2
ChrisSz HB User
Post-Surgery RLS

I am new to this board and I am wondering if anyone has a similar RLS experience. Without realizing, I have had RLS for 10+ years. I would kick at night occasionally, get up, get a drink of water and go back to bed without any big problems. It bothered my wife more than it did me. My real RLS problem started immediately after surgery on my back. It was torture; while in bed I kicked like a madman, and walked the neighborhood from 1:00-3:00am. After 2 months, the symptoms subsided some and I learned to control it with the pain med (Lortab 10/500) prescribed after surgery. I assumed these RLS symptoms were related to my back problem, and so did all the back Dr.’s I saw. They were unfamiliar with RLS, even though I described “classic” symptoms to them: extreme discomfort in my legs associated with resting along with a very strong urge to move my legs. They gave me back treatments without success and continued with the Lortab; I was taking 1-2 pills/day in the evening/night. I even wondered if the symptoms were some kind of narcotic withdrawal. After 14 months of taking narcotics, I discovered RLS on my own and noticed that my symptoms were exactly what was described for RLS. Since, I’ve seen other Dr.’s and have tried Sinemet and Mirapex with partial relief; I get total relief with the Lortab. I also recall having a similar experience 12 years ago immediately after surgery on my finger. I remember pacing and kicking like mad, but I did not get “hooked” on the narcotics and the symptoms went away in 2 days. I wonder if the Morphine during surgery and the narcotic afterwards somehow causes the RLS symptoms to worsen, but at the same time provide complete relief. I have decided to try discontinuing the narcotic and suffer with the symptoms, hoping that after a few days my RLS symptoms will return to my “normal” level prior to the surgery. I am taking two weeks off work; last night was my first night – I didn’t sleep a wink. Has anyone experienced similar RLS? found any solutions? tried the “cold-turkey” approach with narcotics? Thanks for any help.

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Old 11-28-2003, 05:50 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,660
cattys HB User
Re: Post-Surgery RLS

One of the times that I had surgery I was in the hospital for 8 days on morphine. After going home on lortab I got restless legs really bad. It lasted for about 2 weeks. I came to figure that it was from withdrawing from the morphine.

Old 12-02-2003, 03:47 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 69
VeryOldLady HB User
Re: Post-Surgery RLS

I injured my back 10 years ago and I had RLS ever since. Recently my doctor put me on a pain med for my back and the RLS went away. I wasn't taking any narcotics after the back injury (I don't think), so mine couldn't have been caused by a withdrawl. I was taking several Ibuprofins a day, though, which was why the doctor wanted me to go on the narcotic. It was safer. I wonder whether my back pain was aggrivated by the RLS...which caused the RLS to get worse. But, since I've been taking this stuff...which is very low dose...I have had some very restful sleep. I think I'm benefitting more from the medicine because the RLS relief than from pain relief.
I'm not old. Honest. I'm just not creative AND original when it comes to registering a username.

Old 03-26-2005, 11:06 AM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1
randyntwhite HB User
Re: Post-Surgery RLS

I had a hysterectomy two weeks ago and have experienced the exact same issues from what I now believe is from the Morphine, while in the hospital and Percocet for pain after. I have had RLS, just in my legs, for several years and have been able to just deal with it. I am so grateful to hear that what I have been experiencing since the surgery will hopefully go away. Since going off the pain medicine completely last week, the RLS has spread to my arms and it has increased drastically in severity. I have never had the RLS actually wake me until now, prior to this it would bother me and keep me from falling to sleep on certain occasions, but not like this. Thanks for your posting, it gave me hope. It is amazing to me and terrifying at the same time how terrible RLS can affect your life. Thanks again.


Old 03-26-2005, 09:50 PM   #5
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 7
Mr.Foster HB User
Re: Post-Surgery RLS

I heard that when you bleed for whatever reason, mentral cycle or surgery, you loss a mineral in your blood called magnesium. Maybe if we tried taking that, it would make us better.

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