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Surgical Outcomes and Blogs Discuss Muscle Twitches After Back Surgery in the Main forums forums; Hi, I'm a 73 year old male who had lower back surgery March 4, 2010. The surgery was to ...

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Old 07-11-2010, 08:45 PM
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Default Muscle Twitches After Back Surgery

Hi, I'm a 73 year old male who had lower back surgery March 4, 2010.
The surgery was to correct severe stenosis, sciatica, and a bulging disc. Two rods held by four screws were put in place. I don't have the surgeons report with me so I don't remember the specific vertebrae, it was in the L3 to L5 area. I had severe leg pain, leg weakness and some loss of leg control prior to surgery. I had no back pain. This is my second back surgery in the same area. My concern now is that I have developed muscle twitches in both legs, thighs and calfs, in the past two weeks and still have the weakness in both legs. I am very worried about ALS. But I'm also wondering whether the twitches are a side effect of the surgery. I did not expect the degree of weakness that I have this far out from the surgery. I appreciate any input and opinions.

Edit: I would add that the initial injury of unknown cause happened four years prior to surgery and left my right thigh in severe pain for 6 or 7 months. It also caused my thigh to atrophy to the point that the muscle just hung down in bags. I could not flex my thigh for about a year and a half. Since that time I have been extremely inactive including being bed ridden for the first 5 months after the initial injury.

Last edited by archie; 07-11-2010 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:08 AM
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Default Twitches

Hi Archie, I'm sorry your hurting and having the twitches. I had a two level fusion six months ago, front and back with rods. I have had twitches but not in the legs. I've had them in my buttocks so bad that when I show people they look at me like they want to run. It has died down but did happen. There are so many weird things that happen after surgery.

I was going to ask what medications you are on as my doctor told me that certain medications increase this. I hope others might have some suggestions other than this. Best.
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Two level spinal fusion with BMS, cages, hardware. due to bone density problems from chemotherapy, they had to go in front and back. Surgery Nov. 6, 2010. So far no regrets.
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dridobits View Post
Hi Archie, I'm sorry your hurting and having the twitches. I had a two level fusion six months ago, front and back with rods. I have had twitches but not in the legs. I've had them in my buttocks so bad that when I show people they look at me like they want to run. It has died down but did happen. There are so many weird things that happen after surgery.

I was going to ask what medications you are on as my doctor told me that certain medications increase this. I hope others might have some suggestions other than this. Best.

Thank you for your reply dndobits. I did do a search on my question and found that there are people who experience twitches after back surgery but none mentioned weakness and twitches. Some reported the twitches went away eventually, others were awaiting tests of one sort or another. My pain is mostly gone after the surgery, I do have lingering discomfort in my hips and over my left buttock if I overdo walking or exercising. My main fear is the twitching in my thighs and calfs are early symptoms of ALS. I would be very happy to know it's a post op side effect.
As for my meds, i am a walking drugstore. I take meds for high BP, high chol., RLS, diabetes and sleep. I'm hoping members of this forum can shed some light on the subject. I did have a thumper during a follow up visit with my neurologist for another issue. He observed it and told me to watch for twitches. He said it is seen in ALS patients when I asked why. Not what I wanted to hear.
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:27 PM
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Hi Archie and welcome,

I'm not a doctor and no much less than others on this forum about medical issues BUT - muscle twitches are quite common after this kind of surgery and the weakness you feel is IMHO nothing more than some nerve damage or rebellion by these nerves protesting the intrusion into their turf. ALS, perhaps but a little too coikindinky following surgery if this is your only symptom. You also do not 'heal' or show any improvement with ALS.

You might consider finding a pain managment doctor. They are quite well versed in the possible nerve interaction associated with spine surgeries.

Personally, I think it was very negligent of your neuro to even mention ALS without investigating further. Those are scary words.

Good luck to you, Dale
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:44 PM
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I have twitches. More like spasms. I have them in my legs but also in places not connected to my lumbar spine like my arms and my eyelids. I have a feeling it's from all the spine trauma and my nervous system being all messed up.The Gabapentin doesnt seem to make the twitches go away, only the leg pain. I cant take the Valium anymore because it messes me up but my doctor wrote me a recommendation for medical cannabis which will help more than any these drugs do.
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5/15/06 Discogram confirmed L4-L5 DDD also an asymptomatic L5-S1 tear
10/24/06 L4-L5 Prodisc surgery with Dr. Goldstein
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:05 PM
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Default I would hope that

Your PCP would make sure to r/o anything else medically that might be in a differential diagnosis with symtoms of this nature or refer if necessary to a neurologist if your CNS is involved. Does the medical mj alleviate the symptoms or at least make them more tolerable and less obvious?
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