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Doctor insights on: Muscle Spasms After Back Surgery

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How long do nerves and muscles take to heal after back surgery?

How long do nerves and muscles take to heal after back surgery?

It varies: It depends on how much irritation there was before surgery, how long it was there, and how much of those tissues were manipulated during that procedure. Many will improve quickly (days to weeks), others take months, and some never fully recover. Follow your surgeon's instructions, and ask questions if your recovery is delayed. ...Read more

Dr. Laurence Badgley
1,626 Doctors shared insights

Muscle Spasm (Definition)

Muscle spasms are typically painful involuntary muscle contracures which can occur in any part of the body, such as the neck, back and legs. There are various causes of muscle spasms such as recent injury or trauma and dehydration. Typically, patients can modify activity, rest, stretch, utilize heat or ice for treatment of muscle spasms. Rarely, patients can also ...Read more


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What to do if I had a lower back surgery 5 years ago an still have a lot of muscle pain what can I do?

What to do if I had a lower back surgery 5 years ago an still have a lot of muscle pain what can I do?

Spine Pain Options: This chronic pain in the distribution as you suggested is the result of an irritated nerve or facet joints or other injury typically in the lumbar spine (low back) which are caused by herniated disks, spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease, etc requiring further evaluation by a spine specialist and may be candidate for facet injections/radiofrequency ablation and epidural steroid injection. ...Read more

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I have just had back surgery to take pressure off my nerves 3 days ago. Is it normal to have muscle pain in your leg while it heals?

I have just had back surgery to take pressure off my nerves 3 days ago. Is it normal to have muscle pain in your leg while it heals?

Advice as a patient: Experienced this firsthand. Don't despair. It gets better. I'm symptom-free 7+ years later. Even with success, you may still get occasional symptoms. Best advice, maintain normal weight as best you can and stay active. When I got lazy and gained weight, my symptoms started flaring up until I lost it. ...Read more

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Muscle spasms legs, feet and side back come and go, mild but noticeable. Had for 1 month. Is it MS, ALS will I get paralysed?

Muscle spasms legs, feet and side back come and go, mild but noticeable. Had for 1 month. Is it MS, ALS will I get paralysed?

No: Someone has been reading too many medical horror stories. It is mega highly unlikely that spasms in an otherwise healthy 20 year old represent anything but overuse or electrolyte disturbance. The diseases you mention generally do not begin like that. See your family doc for an evaluation and reassurance of the correct diagnosis, so you can get this problem resolved. ...Read more

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Could I have multiple sclerosis even if my MRI was normal? I have a lot of the symptoms (muscle spasm, weakness, tingling down my back and legs), but my MRI didn’t show anything. Can an MRI miss ms?

Could I have multiple sclerosis even if my MRI was normal? I have a lot of the symptoms (muscle spasm, weakness, tingling down my back and legs), but my MRI didn’t show anything. Can an MRI miss ms?

Typically not: Mri is the most sensitive test available to aid in the diagnosis of ms. While there are rare cases of MRI negative ms, the vast, vast, vast majority of patients with ms have MRI abnormalities. Having said that, given your symptoms it would be important to know if the cervical and thoracic spinal cord were imaged. If brain and spinal cord imaging negative then not likely to be ms. ...Read more

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Numb/tingling in hands, legs, and feet on both sides. Muscle spasms in legs, back and arms. Loss of balance, dizzy, stiff. Is it Neuropathy or ms?

Numb/tingling in hands, legs, and feet on both sides. Muscle spasms in legs, back and arms. Loss of balance, dizzy, stiff. Is it Neuropathy or ms?

Bad choices: You probably don't need or want to pick A or B. Both require a doctor's DX and TX and it might be another thing altogether. A common cause of neuropathy is a diabetic condition w/ other signs too - are you a diabetic? Get into care if 'yes'! MS usually starts a bit later in age. Have an exam to find an answer. Best! ...Read more

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Hip/ butt muscle spasms on left side like charlie horse. Recent MS dx. Possible symptom? Very painful lasted 2 days already. Suggestions?

Hip/ butt muscle spasms on left side like charlie horse. Recent MS dx. Possible symptom? Very painful lasted 2 days already. Suggestions?

SOME THOTS: Pain is very common in ms, and can present numerous ways, and even migraine is present in ms pts at a frequency of 2-4 times normals. However, your muscle spasms could represent a separate process in hip, back, pelvis. (unlikely, but if you were given steroids, check for avascular necrosis in hip). Lastly, do not want to second guess your doc, but there are oral meds now (no needles). ...Read more

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I have been diganosed with both trigeminal neralgia and occipital neuralgia. I also have some memory problems and muscle spasms. Could I have ms?

I have been diganosed with both trigeminal neralgia and occipital neuralgia. I also have some memory problems and muscle spasms. Could I have ms?

Challenging?: You seem to have very complex issues, and I would certainly wonder about an underlying unitary diagnosis. Ms could cause fatigue, memory loss, and trigeminal neuralgia, but usually not occipital neuralgia. Maybe MRI of brain and spinal cord could illuminate the picture. Might also want to check for lupus, lyme disease, and even hiv. Perhaps get full evaluation at a local medical school. ...Read more

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Do I have a vitamin B12 deficiency or MS? I'm 19, female with tingling, numbness in head/scalp, feet, legs, and hands. Muscle spasm? Anxiety maybe?

Do I have a vitamin B12 deficiency or MS? I'm 19, female with tingling, numbness in head/scalp, feet, legs, and hands. Muscle spasm? Anxiety maybe?

Most likely anxiety: Most likely anxiety but a good idea to get checked out by the physician and try to rule out some of those other possibilities ...Read more

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I have taken 800 mg Skelaxin (metaxalone) every 4-5 hrs over the past 48 hours, should I be worried? (I am having extreme muscle spasms from surgery and didn't rea

I have taken 800 mg Skelaxin (metaxalone) every 4-5 hrs over the past 48 hours, should I be worried? (I am having extreme muscle spasms from surgery and didn't rea

Need better med: Sorry to hear your post-op period has been rough. Skelaxin (metaxalone) should only be used 3-4 times daily max. Sounds like it isn't the right medicine for you. Contact your doctor about trying a different muscle r relaxant instead. Feel free to consult me to discuss further. ...Read more

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Hello, I was stabbed and had exploratory surgery, now I can't work on the sun anymore, I get muscle spasms and reno failure, is this because of surg?

Hello, I was stabbed and had exploratory surgery, now I can't work on the sun anymore, I get muscle spasms and reno failure, is this because of surg?

Medical Opinion: You are asking for a complex medical opinion beyond the scope of HealthTap. You should seek evaluation with surgical and complete medical records from a physician with an appointment specifically to answer your questions. ...Read more

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Surgery resolved my occipital neuralgia a year ago. Constant muscle spasm in neck/shoulders, plus tension headache, remain. What's the next step?

Surgery resolved my occipital neuralgia a year ago. Constant muscle spasm in neck/shoulders, plus tension headache, remain. What's the next step?

Pin down cause: Glad surgery worked, but talk to your doc about MRI of neck and thoracic spines, and maybe EMG of brachial plexus. An experienced physical therapist could be very helpful. ...Read more

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2 cysts at S2 (racepinephrine) 2cm each cause scallop of bone at sacrum n lamina. Hip stiff n muscle spasm. Feel lump at tailbone when sit. Should go for surgery?

2 cysts at S2 (racepinephrine) 2cm each cause scallop of bone at sacrum n lamina. Hip stiff n muscle spasm. Feel lump at tailbone when sit. Should go for surgery?

Don't is safe way: Tarlov cysts in this region are not uncommon and are usually not a cause for pain unless one is dealing with soft or osteoporotic bone which can occasionally be subjected to pressure changes by a large cyst creating a fracture of the bone which then becomes painful. See an orthopedist to evaluate you symptoms for the source. ...Read more

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Is there one medicine for spasticity and muscle spasms? Associated with neuropathy. Which is recommended??

Is there one medicine for spasticity and muscle spasms? Associated with neuropathy. Which is recommended??

No: There are multiple medications we use for muscle spasticity to varying degrees of help including flexeril, zanaflex, soma, baclofen, Valium, and skelaxin (metaxalone) just to name a few. Discuss directly with your doctor what would be best for you. ...Read more

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I had lower back surgery april 9th 2012 and ever since, my entire core spasm all the way around so tight I can't move until it resides. Help!?

I had lower back surgery april 9th 2012 and ever since, my entire core spasm all the way around so tight I can't move until it resides. Help!?

Ask your surgeon: At almost 6 months post op you should not be having spasm unless you are a smoker which can effectively negate any positive results of spine surgery. I do not have enough info about what surgery: a revision, a decompression, a disectomy, a fusion, with or without instrumentation, a combination of decompression & fusion, how many levels & approach (s) used. You need to ask your surgeon about this. ...Read more

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After back surgery can you get shorter?

After back surgery can you get shorter?

Not usually: Depends on the problem and surgery but would expect fusion type surgery to open up disc spaces with interbody device and preserve or increase height
compression fractures in verebral bodies can make a person shorter. ...Read more

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What kind of exercise is viable after back surgery?

What kind of exercise is viable after back surgery?

Many types!: Exercise for your back is vitally important after surgery. The kind of exercise varies based on the type of surgery but generally speaking: stretching and core strengthening, more pecifically yoga and pilates are good choices. That doesn't mean you can't play golf or tennis it just means you should be focusing some time specifically on your back (and core). ...Read more

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Please tell me how long it takes for to have back surgery?

Please tell me how long it takes for to have back surgery?

Depends upon type: Assuming single level surgeries
kyphoplasty 15-30 mins
microdiskectomy-45-90 mins
laminectomy-60-90 min
lumbar fusion-90-120 mins
cervical fusion/disk replacement 60-120 mins
scoliosis fusion 180-600 mins. ...Read more

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I'm having back surgery tomorrow and really worried. Ocan you offer me some helpful hints on how to go?

I'm having back surgery tomorrow and really worried. Ocan you offer me some helpful hints on how to go?

Many Ways: Anxiety before surgery is to be expected. I suggest methods of relaxation such as meditation, music, exercise, sexual activity (protection), moderate use of alcohol (if ok with surgeon), family/friends support. I also ask patients to remember that objectively speaking, they should be aware that they will be safer during the time of surgery that driving on the freeway. Best wishes. ...Read more

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Could back surgery cause neck problems?

Could back surgery cause neck problems?

Unlikely: The nerves in the low back travel downwards, into the legs, not up towards the neck, so from a neurologic standpoint, back surgery would not affect the neck. However, it would be possible for back surgery to alter your body mechanics and indirectly cause neck problems. ...Read more

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Is cracking your spine after back surgery fine?

Is cracking your spine after back surgery fine?

No! Once healed!: No-you are simply doing the equivalent of "cracking your knuckles"- it feels good or it just becomes a habit. By "cracking" or mobilizing the small joints of your spine (facet joints) it causes a temporary reflexive relaxation of the surrounding muscles. This is what an osteopath or chiropractor will attempt to achieve with manipulation. You are doing your own! You are not causing any arthritis. ...Read more

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Might have to have back surgery for bulge disk. Dangerous surgery?

Might have to have back surgery for bulge disk. Dangerous surgery?

There are risks: There are significant risks associated with back surgery such as nerve damage, infection, bleeding, need for more surgery. The anesthesia also has risks. Fortunately, the risks for bad things happening are very low. You need to have honest discussion with your surgeon about the risks so that you're ok doing an elective procedure, or not. ...Read more

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Could major back surgery affect your menstrual cycle?

Could major back surgery affect your menstrual cycle?

Yes: Major spine surgery in menstration women such as scoliosis correction often triggers menstration due to the physiological stress of the surgery. Cycles should normalize a few months afterwards. ...Read more

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Could I take prednisone to help heal from back surgery?

Could I take prednisone to help heal from back surgery?

Depends: Steroids, such as prednisone, can be prescribed when back surgery is performed. The most common usage is to minimize nerve pain from swelling, but also to assist in nerve recovery in situations with severe pre-op and/or post-op weakness. If prescribed, it is usually for short-term usage. With long-term use, Prednisone may slow wound healing, raise blood sugars, and delay fusion maturation. ...Read more

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How do I no if I need back surgery from herniated disc?

How do I no if I need back surgery from herniated disc?

Ortho: A decision for or against disc surgery needs to be reached by an orthopedic specialist, after a thorough review and examination. Pros and cons need to be discussed with you so an informed decision can be reached. ...Read more

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Returning leg pain after lower back surgery, what to do?

This is somewhat: Dependent on what your diagnosis was and indications for the surgery as well as what type of surgery was performed. Other factors include how much time has past since the surgery, smoking history, medical history and has anything happened since the surgery such as an injury that may have caused onset of these symptoms. This is best reviewed with your surgeon to decide any actions needed. ...Read more

Muscle (Definition)

It is a body tissue that has the ability to contract. It shortens and generates force. It relaxes and returns to its original length. Muscles move joints, stabilize the body, move air and food through the organs, act as valves for bladder, bowel and other organs. They control movement of the eyes. They help us express ourselves by changing the shape of our ...Read more


Back Surgery (Definition)

Any surg that enters the muscles & beyond. Usually means involving work on the bone structurs disks r considered back surgery. They include a multitude of procedures. 2 ...Read more