RLS following rotator cuff surgery

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RLS following rotator cuff surgery

Postby Hockeymanvt » Sun May 15, 2016 5:43 pm

RLS has never been a serious problem for me for many years. I am in the process of recovering from rotator cuff surgery. Since this is my second shoulder I am familiar with the pain and recover requiring sleeping in a recliner. This time, however, I have had many nights of no sleep. I seem to have restless BODY syndrome. My kidneys even seem to itch! I am quite certain that it is NOT related to shoulder pain as I am off ALL pain meds at this point (three weeks post surgery). I am taking a prescription sleeping med and I have been getting a bit better sleep. I am most curious if other rotator cuff warriors have noticed anything similar.

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Re: RLS following rotator cuff surgery

Postby stjohnh » Sun May 15, 2016 6:39 pm

I too have had bilateral rotator cuff surgery, both as a result of snowboarding at my old age and slipping on a spot of icy snow. Two separate occasions has convinced me that even though I enjoy snowboarding quite a bit, my body isn't up to it anymore. Anyway, both post op spells were accompanied with significant shoulder pain, requiring a couple of weeks of narcotic therapy. The Vicodin helped the pain considerably and kept my rls from causing much trouble although once I was over the most pain and got off the Vicodin, my RLS bothered me. The simplest thing to do is just see if your surgeon will give you a couple of weeks of Vicodin or similar narcotic. I'd tell him it's for the pain rather than its for RLS. Another possibility that may help in this situation is to try Gabapentin at 300 - 900 milligrams per night. It frequently helps with the sleeping problems of RLS, although only helps a little bit with the jumping legs problem

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Re: RLS following rotator cuff surgery

Postby Hockeymanvt » Sun May 15, 2016 8:57 pm

Thank you, I feel your pain ... NO really . I think I am still in the research phase. I am thinking that prescription sleeping meds are safer than Vicodin but will pass that by my PCP. As I am three weeks out from surgery and there is little pain except immediately after PT ;-) I an inclined to blame the RLS rather than pain. Thanks for you advice. I will see how the experiment works . FWIW my shoulder and my knees wore out because I spent a month each summer in Tuscany rebuilding my sister-in-law's 3000 year old farmhouse affectionately (and accurately) known as the "Pile of Rubble". It was worth the wear and tear.

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Re: RLS following rotator cuff surgery

Postby Rustsmith » Sun May 15, 2016 9:36 pm

hockeymanvt wrote:
I am thinking that prescription sleeping meds are safer than Vicodin but will pass that by my PCP.

If you will search some of the discussion threads for sleep medications here, you will generally find that most sleeping meds are not very effective for sleep issues associated with RLS. Personally, I have tried almost all of them at one point or another and only Lunesta ever did anything for me and was working less and less. Ambien worked occasionally, but scared me when I had an amnesia incident one morning while traveling by myself. I had a sleep doctor give me a double dose of Sonata during a sleep test and it did nothing. I also tried one of the new, high tech sleeping meds, Rozerem, that was so expensive that my insurance would not cover it. It also did nothing.

I finally switched to gabapentin for my migraines and found that it also helps me fall asleep. Some of us have also found that some types of medical marijuana help, but you have to experiment to find the product with the correct THC/CBD ratio for you.

Therefore, your best bet will be to talk to your doctor about getting a narcotic pain killer. That will help with your RLS during the recovery and studies show that you don't need to be worried about addiction (especially in the sort term) unless you have a history of some sort of substance abuse.

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

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Re: RLS following rotator cuff surgery

Postby saptree » Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:01 am

I had shoulder arthoscopy surgery 4 weeks ago for impingement syndrome. Once I stopped taking the around the clock oxycontin/percocet and went back to my normal regimen of 5 mg oxycodone every night, I have found my RLS to be much more severe. Day and night!
In October I had major surgery (female stuff) and it also produced an increase of RLS. Surgery can make it flare up, I am told.
I wonder if it's blood loss or anesthesia that makes it worse. And of course we don't notice for a few days or a week until the heavy pain meds are discontinued.

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