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    leg cramps after surgery
    miserablefrmback posted:
    After reading a post about a wifes husband having leg cramps after back surgery and can definitely sympathize with him! I had major lower back surgery over two years ago and every since then I have been experiencing the worse leg cramps in the world! They come out of nowhere at anytime (mostly at night). My calf muscles, the top of my feet, my feet and sometimes hamstring muscles. It is so debilitating. I went back to my surgeon and he said he had never heard of this happening. I told him that he needs to google it because there are a lot of people experiencing the same thing. I've even gone to a neurologist with no results but he isn't giving up. I had my metabolic levels tested and everything was normal. I am not dehydrated or on any types of medication that should cause this. I think more research needs to go into this matter and urgently. I am losing quality of life because of this and feel so abandoned by my Dr's. Sometimes I just want my legs to go away it gets to be so bad at times. I've noticed that over exersion can sometimes cause my cramps to be worse at night.
    Signed-helpless and desperate!
    bj1208 responded:
    hi and welcome to the support group -

    I never had leg cramps after my back surgery, but they did put these socks on that were hooked up and it sent waves thru the legs - to keep from having blood clots - but I just wonder if it also kept me from having leg cramps (though I do have nerve damage in both legs) -

    One thought - maybe you can go to either a physical therapist or chiropractor and see what they say - they may have some insight to that - or even a PHYSIATRIST Pain Management Clinic -

    I'm sorry you are experiencing this - I've had leg cramps when I was working out in Martial Arts and boy they sure can hurttt -

    Hope that you can find some answers - keep us posted - take care - Joy
    dianer01 replied to bj1208's response:
    I had muscle spasms but not leg cramps after my fusion. I would believe the spasms were caused by trauma to the nerves. That said, cramps may indeed be caused by the same thing. Have you tried any anti spasmodic like soma?

    I have no medical training but it may be worth asking about.

    Rafael Levin, MD, MSc responded:
    As a spine surgeon, I am convinced that your post operative leg cramps are frustrating not only you, but your surgeon as well. Typically when one of my patients experiences leg pain, numbness, tingling, or cramps after a fusion operation, I first rule out nerve compression or instability. These issues can sometime respond to well to surgery when indicated. Based on the information you have provided, I am confident that your surgeon did not find evidence of nerve compression or instability to explain your leg cramps. That is why you were referred to the Neurologist who has been trying to identify non-spine-surgical sources of your crampings. Regardless of the cause of your cramps (which hopefully will be identified or better yet resolve on their own) you should consider certain medication options that can be very helpful particularly if taken at night-time which is when you experience most of your cramping. Please consult your neurologist regarding options for meds to address your symptoms. I wish you a quick recovery.
    Move_Zig replied to Rafael Levin, MD, MSc's response:
    I had L5-S1 microdiscectomy in April 2010 and have terrible cramps in the calf of the leg where my radicular pain was located pre-op. I have tried exercising to bring my calf's muscularity back to where it was before I herniated my disc in the hopes that it would stop the cramping, but it is to no avail. I typically experience the cramping at night and have to get out of bed and walk on it to force it out of the cramp. For the entirety of the following day my calf is extremely sore.

    One thing I know for certain is that I will take the calf cramping over the buttock/leg pain from the herniated disc ANY DAY OF THE WEEK!
    bj1208 replied to Move_Zig's response:
    hi - welcome to the support group -

    one thing I forgot to mention is that it could be that you are lacking a certain vitamin - so you may want to discuss this with the physician - also there are other ways to try and avoid this - sleeping with a pillow under your knees when sleeping on your back or between your knees when sleeping on your side - this helps keep pressure off the spine and also the legs too -

    so try that and see about the vitamins too -

    let us know what you find out - take care - Joy
    SC3954 responded:
    I share your pain. I am two years after fusion with the same problems. Doctors no help. Physical Therapist gave me some
    exercises to do that help to take the pressure off. Also getting in a pool and putting noodle float under arm and relaxing and let legs dangle really helps a lot. Natural gravity takes the pressure off the nerve. See a physical therapist at least once and they can give you all the stuff you'll need. Good Luck. SC
    The_Emmes replied to Move_Zig's response:
    Same symptoms (same surgery in July). Surgeon said that he sees this frequently and sometimes it goes away and sometimes not. Does not effect my athletic ability, but freaks people out when I jump from the table to "uncramp".

    Would love to hear what vitamins people are suggesting.
    georgia888 replied to The_Emmes's response:
    Magnesium helps with muscle issues. Be sure it is taken with the right ration of calcium & vitamin D.

    Good luck,
    RREUSSER replied to Rafael Levin, MD, MSc's response:
    I had two laminectomies in the month of October. After the first one I was feeling really good and exactly 13 days after I experienced such incredible pain and spasming I found myself bback in the surgeons office ,back in for an MRI which I was told there was no evidence of a reherniation. The pain was unbearable and the radiologist reading the MRI changed his report and my second surgery was exactly 3 weeks after the first.I am now doing very well except I have started wit leg cramps at night. I have a pottassium deficiency that I take meds for and I am hoping thats all it is. Labs in one more day and maybe just uping meds will help. I am 47 years old and the mother of 3 small childrens . I thank God everyday that I can walk upright without alot of pain.
    tarynlynn replied to The_Emmes's response:
    Try a product from a company called Biotics Research. It's called Bio CMP and is calcium, magnesium and potassium. It runs $11.50 a bottle for 100 tablets and my doctor told me to take 2 in the morning, 2 in the afternoon and 2 in the evening until the cramps stop, then take 4 per day, most especially before you go to bed.
    You can get it online from Pure Formulas.
    Seriously, it does freak people out when you leap up and start limping around the room going "ow, ow,ow". Especially at night, my poor hubby LOL
    Sorry for the late response, I found this chat..... hope it helps!
    jenlewi responded:
    I've never had back surgery, but the night leg cramps I've had. I found a roll-on product called cramp911 that works really well for me. You said your metabolic levels were normal, so it's probably not a mineral issue. I take potassium supplements if I cramp more than two nights a week, which does the trick for me, but is probably not a good idea if your level is already good.

    I hope you find the relief you need and get some solid sleep.
    martibj63 replied to Rafael Levin, MD, MSc's response:
    It sounds like there is no answer or solution to leg cramps after spinal surgery. I had L3-L5 decompressive laminectomy with pedicle screw fixation in June 2009. By June 2010 the pain was so severe that I had another surgery in Sept. due to stenosis at L4-5 and 5-1 as well as disc buldging. When the surgeon went to remove the hardware from previous surgery, the screws could be removed with nothing but his fingers. Surgery extended from T13-S1 with rods and fixation. Post surgery my Vit. D level was checked and found to be extremely low. Treated with large doses of Vit. D, I did well until Aug. of 2011 when cramping started in both legs. One set of cramps were so severe that my toes on my left foot extended upward and fractured a bone on the side of my foot. Since then, the cramps are a daily occurance and often so severe that I can't pput weight on the affected leg. Feeling very helpless and dreading living like this for the rest of my life. Any suggestions?
    Camper920 responded:
    I to had major back surgery two years ago. And I have servere Leg cramps in my left leg at night. I haven't been back to my doctor. But plan to now that there is others having them too.

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