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Doctor insights on: Why Do You Get Charlie Horse Cramps In Leg After Having Back Surgery

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Why do you get charlie horse cramps in leg after having back surgery?

Why do you get charlie horse cramps in leg after having back surgery?

Acid buildup: While under anesthesia, the legs are bent and there is a decrease in blood return from the legs. Waste products like Lactic Acid build up. There is a decrease in blood supply and oxygen levels are lower, compounding the problem. After surgery, the legs are straightened, and blood and lymph fluids begin moving. Muscle cramping occurs during this time, when the local pH is low. ...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


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What's a good way to treat a charlie horse (leg cramp)?

What's a good way to treat a charlie horse (leg cramp)?

Water & stretches: Are you drinking your 2-3qts of water each day? Do you stretch before you walk your 15 min each day? If not, give it a try. If so, check in with your doc. ...Read more

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Squatted down holding 25 lbs felt cramp in calf now feels like charlie horse happen about 9 hrs ago only getting worse pain radiating up leg now?

Squatted down holding 25 lbs felt cramp in calf now feels like charlie horse happen about 9 hrs ago only getting worse pain radiating up leg now?

Most likely muscle: Pull or tear. However, one of the worrisome things about injuring your calf, when the pain keeps getting worse and worse, is that it could be compartment syndrome. If the calf feels very tight, pale, loose pulses in feet, then get to a doctor. Other possibility is that you herniated a disc and caused a radiculopathy or irritation a nerve from your back. Will also need to see a physician for this. ...Read more

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The last month or so I have started getting a leg cramp- charlie horse only in the left leg pretty much just when orgasm I'm a 25yr. Female

The last month or so I have started getting a leg cramp- charlie horse only in the left leg pretty much just when orgasm I'm a 25yr. Female

Muscle injury: When you orgasm, the muscles tense up. It is likely that this aggravates a small muscle injury which may be due to a tear, fatigue, or overuse of a portion of the muscle. I would recommend a gentle prolonged stretch of the muscle prior to sex in the future, drink plenty of liquids, and replenish any electrolytes with a sport drink. ...Read more

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Any advice on preventing leg cramps/charley horse?

Any advice on preventing leg cramps/charley horse?

Magnesium!: Leg cramps are usually due to a magnesium deficiency. I would suggest 400 mg of either magnesium aspartate, magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate, magnesium maleate or magnesium taurate to relieve this problem. Do not waste your time with other forms of magnesium. These are available over the counter. If you take too much magnesium, you will get diarrhea. ...Read more

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My husband recently had been getting charley horse like cramps lately in his right leg. Sometimes even during sex. What does this mean? & why?

My husband recently had been getting charley horse like cramps lately in his right leg. Sometimes even during sex. What does this mean? & why?

You need a doctor: It is impossible to answer your question without examining your husband. The problem could be vascular or muscle cramps. You need to consult a doctor to have this evaluated. ...Read more

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How can I fix a leg spasm/cramp/charley horse?

How can I fix a leg spasm/cramp/charley horse?

Put your foot: At a 90 degree angle to your leg with moderate pressure until the cramp goes away. This won't stop, it from coming back again. Sometimes quinine is helpful for leg cramps at night. ...Read more

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Would low potassium cause more than just a cramp/charlie horse in one leg? On nexoum for 8 days and on lisinopril 10mg n hctz (hydrochlorothiazide) 12.5. Should I worry?

Would low potassium cause more than just a cramp/charlie horse in one leg? On nexoum for 8 days and on lisinopril 10mg n hctz (hydrochlorothiazide) 12.5. Should I worry?

Get potassium measur: Low potassium doesn't cause muscle cramps - it can cause tetany and, in extremely low levels, it can cause muscle weakness (called "periodic paralysis"). I suggest you have your potassium measured and then supplement it if it's low. Low potassium is a common cause of cardiac arrhythmias. ...Read more

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I had a loong painful "charley horse" in my calf 2 days ago now I can hardly walk and if I stretch anther cramp tries to start. What can/should I do?

I had a loong painful "charley horse" in my calf 2 days ago now I can hardly walk and if I stretch anther cramp tries to start. What can/should I do?

May be a tear: Calf tear can actually result from a prolonged muscle spasm, especially if the was any compromise of the muscle prior to the spasm. If you notice any black and blue changes the tear is confirmed. Do not try to work through the pain. Muscle needs to heal or can lead to chronic problems. If having difficulty walking should be on crutches. See a orthopaedist or sports doc if symptoms persist. ...Read more

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Really bad Charley horse in calf two nights ago. Strange quarter sized painful bruise with a knot in it showed up right after the cramp. Why?

Really bad Charley horse in calf two nights ago. Strange quarter sized painful bruise with a knot in it showed up right after the cramp. Why?

Blood clot: You should be evaluated for blood clots in your veins. While the one you can see on the surface usually isn't a problem there can be deep clots that triggered that superficial clot. ...Read more

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I wake up frequently with Charley horse, arch cramps, and even cramps that make my ankle go stiff. I take vit d and magnesium and it helps some...

I wake up frequently with Charley horse, arch cramps, and even cramps that make my ankle go stiff. I take vit d and magnesium and it helps some...

Medical checkup: There are multiple potential causes for night time muscle cramping. A good medical checkup with a check of your electrolytes and a good exam is a good place to start. ...Read more

Dr. Nic Gay Dr. Gay
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I had a Charlie horse like painful muscle cramp in my hip/thigh 2 days ago. It now hurts to walk and sit. What should I do to make this pain go away?

Dr. Nic Gay Dr. Gay
1 doctor agreed:
I had a Charlie horse like painful muscle cramp in my hip/thigh 2 days ago. It now hurts to walk and sit. What should I do to make this pain go away?

See a doctor: Without any other information, pain of spontaneous onset caused by simple, low-impact activities such as walking or sitting should be evaluated by a doctor. ...Read more

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My mom had very bad cramps in her ankle during sleeping. Similar to a charlie horse. She woke up & her ankle was red &a little swollen. What is wrong?

My mom had very bad cramps in her ankle during sleeping. Similar to a charlie horse. She woke up & her ankle was red &a little swollen. What is wrong?

Be seen: If it is red and swollen, I sure would have her seen. Without history of injury, two most common causes are cellulitis, which is an infection of the soft tissue; or an inflammatory condition such as gout. Take her to be seen. ...Read more

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I had back surgery 4 yrs ago for scitica but recently my legs get stiff while sitting, driving and sleeping causing burning and sweat in my legs?

I had back surgery 4 yrs ago for scitica but recently my legs get stiff while sitting, driving and sleeping causing burning and sweat in my legs?

Repeat lumbar MRI: You probably had a laminotomy I would guess. The symptoms, eg. Stiffness burning sweating, are atypical for lumbar radiculopathy. Repeat lumbar MRI with contrast to rule out another stenosis situation. Treatment would be an anti-inflammatory like Motrin for 1 month and re-assess. ...Read more

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I have legs cramps in my left leg ankle side of calf and thigh. Blood work okay, no meds, had 2 back surgeries. Doctor is stumped. This is not just at night, I stretch.

I have legs cramps in my left leg ankle side of calf and thigh. Blood work okay, no meds, had 2 back surgeries. Doctor is stumped. This is not just at night, I stretch.

Leg cramps: Leg cramps can be from many causes. If your doctors are stumped, do not give up trying to find a solution. Perhaps you have a mineral deficiency or nutritional deficiency. Next blood test ask for a electrolye test +magnesium--rbc test, &vitamin d test. If ok with your doc, try daily ca/mg/zinc pills & krill oil capsules 2000 mg per day, & vit. D-3 4000 iu/day. ...Read more

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Can knee surgery or back surgery cause your height to get shorter?

Can knee surgery or back surgery cause your height to get shorter?

No: Knee surgery or back surgery per se do not result in loss of height. But with ageing the loss of the articulate cartilages in the knee and resulting narrowing of the joint may lead. To lessened height. The disc between our vertebra loses water content as we age, this leads to degenerative changes and if combined with vertebral collapse as in compression fractures will lead to loss of height. ...Read more

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I have pain going down the front of my right leg after having back surgery. It goes from my hip down to my knee and I can't stand it. Please help?

I have pain going down the front of my right leg after having back surgery. It goes from my hip down to my knee and I can't stand it. Please help?

Need more info: Pain in top of thigh can be L2, L3, or L4 nerve root. If you had surgery for any of those nerves, continued compression may be the reason for this pain. You need to have your surgeon work you up for this. If your surgery did not involve these nerves, then you may be experiencing lateral femoral cutaneous nerve injury that can occur from laying on your belly for long periods of time. ...Read more

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How long will my numbness take to go away I'm my leg after having back surgery?

How long will my numbness take to go away I'm my leg after having back surgery?

From immediate to...: There can be immediate complete or partial relief to within hours, days months, years to never with most if going to recover, within 6 months. ...Read more

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I've had back surgery and still have pain down my legs. I recieve steroid shots and nerve blockers but nothing helps. What is the next step?

I've had back surgery and still have pain down my legs. I recieve steroid shots and nerve blockers but nothing helps. What is the next step?

Therapy helps: The short term and long term effects of back surgery can be hard to predict. Important in knowing the outcome is knowing the kind and duration of symptoms that were present prior to surgery.
Answers to these require consultation with your surgeon. That said, persistent pain is not uncommon, and may respond to additional therapy and attention to back posture. ...Read more

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How risky is for a 72 year old female have back surgery to align 2 vertrebass out of place are pinching nerves causing severe back pain and leg crams?

How risky is for a 72 year old female have back surgery to align 2 vertrebass out of place are pinching nerves causing severe back pain and leg crams?

Depends: The surgery that you describe in general is a big surgery that sounds like it would involve a fusion and spinal instrumentation. That being said, these are surgeries that are done frequently with good results. The things that make these surgeries risky are concurrent medical issues:heart problems, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis etc. The risk is also decreased with the experience of the surgeon. ...Read more

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How long does leg swellong last after back surgery?

How long does leg swellong last after back surgery?

Depends: Leg swelling is not normal after back surgery. Blood clots in the leg should be ruled out if this is a new phenomenon that developed in the days and early weeks post-op. ...Read more

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

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

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I had back surgery 3 yes ago, just this past Saturday my left leg started hurting, getting worse and going numb, just wondering if I should go to ER?

I had back surgery 3 yes ago, just this past Saturday my left leg started hurting, getting worse and going numb, just wondering if I should go to ER?

YES: Sounds like nerve impingement pain. You certainly should get this checked out immediately especially with it coming on so suddenly and if your doctor cannot work you in, the ER will be your best bet. Pain relief and diagnosis will be the benefit ...Read more

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I have a pain in the right side of my leg that developed after back surgery. What can I do to stop the pain?

I have a pain in the right side of my leg that developed after back surgery. What can I do to stop the pain?

Depends on what is: Causing the pain. This oain could be due to a recurrent disc herniation or do to scar tissue formation which a contrast MRI can help to determine. Most of either reason will get better with time & non op care while the recurrent disc may require surgery the scar tissue reason does not & will most likely fail unless it is spinal cord stimulation. Otherwise, medications are indicated & epidurals. ...Read more

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My husband now has a numb area in his leg after back surgery, and is scared to death! Is this normal?

My husband now has a numb area in his leg after back surgery, and is scared to death! Is this normal?

It is not the norm: But it can happen in a small percentage of patients with some recovering and others being permanent. It is a known risk of the surgery in terms of neurologic ones. If that is the only symptom after his operation there is no real need for oncern and it may improve over time. ...Read more

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Extreme lower leg pain after back surgery l3, l4, l5s1?

How long ago?: The cause depends on how long ago was the surgery. If it was a couple of weeks ago then inflammation, hematoma or infection may be the cause. If it was a whole ago then recurrent problem or further degeneration may be the cause. Also what type of surgery? Fusion or just decompression can have different causes. It needs to be evaluated by a spine surgeon. ...Read more

Dr. Marvin Ott
242 Doctors shared insights

Charley Horse (Definition)

A Charley horse is another name for a muscle spasm. These extremely painful contractions can occur in just about in muscle, though most commonly ...Read more


Dr. Edward Hellman
337 Doctors shared insights

Orthopedic Spine Surgery (Definition)

An orthopedic surgeon who further specializes in the ...Read more