RLS post surgery

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kbuff
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:54 pm
Location: NJ

RLS post surgery

Post by kbuff »

I recently underwent a lumbar fusion and laminectomy decompression. Post surgery I was given first morphine, then oxycoton and then hydrocodone. Although I had been treated for RLS for several years with low dose hydrocodone and clonazepam 2 mil./day, and occasionally Sinemet for PLM, my RLS worsened significantly post surgery. My doctor sent me to a neurologist who prescribed gabapentin (300 mil. twice daily) and time released Sinemet before bedtime. Thus far this has been working for me. My question is: has anyone else experienced increased RLS symptoms and PLMs after a major surgical procedure and, if so, will I be able to return to me pre-surgery meds :? ?

becat
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Post by becat »

Hi Kbuff and welcome to the board.

I'm Lynne, nice to cyber meet you.

I have had that in the past year. And yes I was doing very well, but I got injured shortly after the surgery. That has not been resolved as yet! :roll: So I can only say for myself, yes I had problems to begin with. I did too much in the following months as well, you know that caged feeling after surgery, it kinds built up. LOL

However, I did come off the bigger meds and then the extra meds to readjust my system, when my RLS spun out of control. So I know the real answer lies in the dumbest thing to say, but it depends on you and your body.

You also had back surgery and this can be seen as trama body the body, even if to correct soemthing. So maybe to begin it might rise, but will lessen over time, as your back really heals. I'm not a doc, but I think messing with the back or back problems can make some RLSers see an increase of symptoms. I know our friend here, Jan, had back surgery.
I hope see will chime in for you on this one.

Sorry we had to cyber meet for RLS, but so glad you found us. This is an outstanding group of people we have here.
Enjoy the board. Post to any post you wish, thats how it's done around here. So feel free to read around the board and post if you wish.

Lynne

Polar Bear
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Post by Polar Bear »

Hi Kbuff, Welcome

I haven't had any surgery to the back, so have no advice to offer you, other than what Lynne says, to make good use of the site, posting any questions you may have. There is always someone willing to help as best they can.

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

ViewsAskew
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Post by ViewsAskew »

Hi kbuff - glad you got on OK.

Most of this is anecdotal - but some people with back surgeries (or even procedures such as anaesthesia) have permanently increased RLS. That's not to say it's what's happening to you, but it has been reported over the years on this board in in medical literature.

And, surgery itself can increase RLS.

And, sometimes surgery and back surgery in particular cause NO problems at all.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is no hard fast rule. Just possibilities that may or may not apply. Someday we'll know lots more about this...we're just not at that time yet. And, that, I am guessing, is difficult for you.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

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.

kbuff
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:54 pm
Location: NJ

Post by kbuff »

Thanks to all for your input and welcoming me to the discussion group. I look forward to searching the site and communicating with those of you who share my condition. Regarding Anne's comment about the anesthesia, that has been on my mind and I have thought that might be the culprit. I have also thought that the increase in RLS symptoms may be the result of the surgery. I hope this is not permanent. Only time will tell. Again, thanks for the warm welcome.

Kathy

SquirmingSusan
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Post by SquirmingSusan »

Hi Kbuff, and welcome to the forum. I've had 2 back surgeries and didn't notice that they had any effect on my RLS. But I did have some paralysis in my right leg, and that cleared right up after surgery.

One thing to consider in all of this is that the discs in the back were pressing on nerves that run down your legs before the surgery, and that it takes time for the nerves to fully recover. Perhaps that is what's causing the increased RLS. I'm pretty sure that others have posted that back surgery has worsened their RLS as well.

I do hope it resolves.
Susan

jan3213
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Post by jan3213 »

Hi Kbuff

Welcome to the forum! I'm sorry you have a need for this place. But, since you do have RLS, you've found a great place for information and support!

I had back surgery on 9/12/06--spinal fusion T6 through T12 (thoracic spine). I have 12 screws and 2 rods in my back.

For a month or so following my surgery--maybe longer--my RLS was almost non-existent. Of course, I was on a lot of pain medication, which is probably why It didn't flare up. However, shortly thereafter, it returned with a vengence. I've had to have my meds increased.

So, for me, back surgery made my RLS worse. But, as I healed (it took a good year for me to recuperate), my RLS has leveled off. Just remember, everyone is different.

Again, welcome to the forum! You've already been answered by some great people.

Good luck, kbuff.

Jan
No one is alone who had friends.

kbuff
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Location: NJ

Post by kbuff »

Hi Susan and Jan,

Thanks much for your input and welcoming me to this great group. Yes, the nerves were severely damaged prior to the surgery. Two weeks post-surgery the stabbing pain was completely gone. I, too, have instrumentation in my lumbar spine and the bone is still knitting according to the most recent x-ray -- my doctor said it may take 6 to 12 months so I'm not there yet. Thus, as both of you have pointed out, as the healing progresses the RLS may lessen. In the meantime the meds I'm currently taking are keeping the RLS under control. I'm also taking iron as my ferritin level was 36, well below the lower end of 50.

Thanks again, Kathy

Neco
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Post by Neco »

Don't know if anyone has mentioned it, but it is also possible that coming off those larger doses of painkillers has caused your body to go through some temporary augmentation as well.

When I have had to abruptly stop narcotics in the past, it has been brutal on me, and I much preferred the actual narcotic withdrawal to the actual RLS.

kbuff
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:54 pm
Location: NJ

Post by kbuff »

Hi Zach,

I've thought of that too but it's been two months since I weaned myself from the "narcotics," and I took them for only 4-5 weeks so. Yesterday I forgot to take the Sinemet and Gabapentin before bed and awakened with PLM's and terrible RLS. I've read that in severe cases of RLS opoids are recommended but my to find a doctor who might prescribe vicoden or oxycoton on a regular basis would be impossible. That's unfortunate!! Before the surgery I took vicoden at night regularly and never became addicted to it. Also, they don't have side effects like all the other meds, all of which cause augmentation. On another note, Gabapentin is affecting my memory and concentration level.

Kathy

Neco
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Post by Neco »

You take sinemet regularly?????

STOP. If you are taking that crap daily it is almost certainly playing a HUGE part in your problem. That stuff has something like a 90% augmentation rate in RLS patients and is not reccomended for daily use, only for people who get it every now and then, like a couple nights a month.

I can't stand it for more than a week. I can easily blow through 30, 25/100's in 4 or 5 days. If you aren't taking huge amounts then it may be fine, but all the same that stuff is terrible for most people..

I'm sorry you can't seem to find a doctor that will prescribe opiates. It's possible you may have better luck asking for either Tramadol (Ultram) or Methadone.. Methadone is not without its contreversies, but those are usually restricted to opiate niave patients.

Ultram is a drug that acts on opiod receptors, but is foolishly regarded as non-narcotic. However it is not DEA scheduled and only requires a prescription and doesn't raise many eyebrows. (its OTC in some other countries) Ultram can be dangerous if you take anti depressant mecidations however. I suffered a seizure while taking it for the reasons I mentioned, and it took me a little over two months to heal from the physical bruising injuries that occurred from the episode.

Tramamdol may be much easier to obtain, but frankly I always recomend methadone. It requires a relatively low dosage range, and leaves the body very gradually. That's about the best advice I can give you.

kbuff
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:54 pm
Location: NJ

Post by kbuff »

I did not take Sinemet regularly pre-surgery, only on occasion. I'm now taking only one time release pill befoe bed (50/250), 1/2 to start and if I awaken then the other half. Thus, augmentation has not been a problem.

I don't know if I will continue with the anti-convulsant (gabapentin). Right now I'm in a fog after last night's ordeal.

Neco
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Post by Neco »

I do hope you're able to figure things out.

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