Spine Surgery And RLS

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Kwazylegs
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:46 pm
Location: Lower Alabama

Spine Surgery And RLS

Post by Kwazylegs »

First, since I haven't been around in quite some time, I just want to say Hi to everyone...those that I haven't been in touch with since my last post (last year?), and to all the new-comers here. For those of you who might remember me (I am unforgettable, right?), I was experiencing RLS and sciatic pain. The MRI's which I had done showed that I had lumbo-sacral spinal stenosis which was causing me pain. For the 1-1/2 years since the first MRI, I couldn't be certain whether my increasing RLS symptoms were secondary to the stenosis thing, or whether they were primary in nature. Is anybody out there starting to remember me...and my posts without end? I'll try to get to the point.
I had a decompressive laminectomy (and some other stuff to free the nerves going down my right leg) last March. The sciatic pain is gone, but I now have RLS symptoms much worse than before the surgery. I also have new electrifying pain in my right foot (at bedtime), which makes me feel like somebody stuck pointed electrodes into my foot and plugged 'em into a wall socket. All this, and a loss of sensation in my outer right foot which makes me have to check sometimes to make sure I have my shoe on.
Has anybody else with RLS had a similar experience after spine surgery? I'm just trying to make sense out of my symptoms. I won't go into my medication stuff here unless somebody wants me to include it in this thread. Thanks for being here, and I hope you all have a good night's rest.
---Andy

ViewsAskew
Moderator
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Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2004 6:37 am
Location: Los Angeles

Post by ViewsAskew »

Hi Andy! So sorry that this is what's brought you back, but I did miss you.

Not sure if anyone here has had that, but assume they will post if so. BUT, I have heard of worsening RLS after spinal surgery and/or procedures.

Some of the latest research puts a tentative link between RLS and a spinal source of dopamine. IIRC, this seemingly odd link between spinal problems and worsening (or immediate) RLS was part of the reason they thought to look at this system. The research is somewhere in one of the "research" threads.

You might want to search on spine or spinal and see what posts come up - there have been a few over the years related to this.

I do wish this hadn't happened; while I miss people when they leave us, I do like it when people "graduate" to a better time and place related to RLS.
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.

jan3213
Posts: 1706
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 8:46 pm
Location: Illinois

Post by jan3213 »

Hi Andy

I, too, am so sorry you had to come back to us...not because we didn't miss you, but because of your worsening RLS.

I had spinal fusion on September 12, 2006 in my thoracic spine (T6 - T12). Immediately following surgery and for several months, my RLS was almost nonexistent. That may have been due to the pain meds I was on following surgery, because, after that time period, RLS came back with a vengence. Now, it's really bad. And, I know what you mean about the electrifying pain in your foot. While I don't have that every night, I do experience that from time to time. My problem was not sciatic pain before surgery. I was losing the use of the entire left side of my body. Now, it's the right foot that has the electrifying pain. I've never mentioned that here, or really to anyone else.

I hope you find relief (I hope I do, too!). Thanks for posting, Andy.

Jan
No one is alone who had friends.

Kwazylegs
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:46 pm
Location: Lower Alabama

Post by Kwazylegs »

Thanks for the replies. Ann, it's great to know that you're still here helping to disseminate help and hope to those who suffer from this RLS stuff. I'll do a search on the spine/dopamine connection, and how surgery might impact this.

And Jan, I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing similar symptoms to mine since your surgery. I am so glad that you're still here...not because of your difficulties, but because I remember you saying (a year or so ago) that you had spine surgery, and that you shared your experience with the outcome. I hope that your hemiplegia-like symptoms on the left side of your body were eliminated by the surgery, and that your RLS symptoms get better.

Yesterday, I saw the surgeon that did my surgery last March, and I'm going to have another MRI this Wednesday to see if there are any changes in my spine since the surgery that might be causing these symptoms. I'm afraid that I just might have to live with the new pain/numbness and RLS intensification, though.

It seems that I just traded one problem for another, yet in retrospect, I guess that I could have come out much worse than I now am...especially since I now have a reason to get together with you great people again.

Thanks again for your being here.

---Andy

ctravel12
Posts: 2125
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 2:02 am
Location: Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Contact:

Post by ctravel12 »

Hi Andy it is nice to see you posting again; however I am so sorry that you are going through a rough time.

Please keep us posted, and again, nice hearing from you again but wish it was under different circumstances.
Charlene
Taking one day at a time

Kwazylegs
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:46 pm
Location: Lower Alabama

Post by Kwazylegs »

Hi Charlene,

It's great to see you're still here. Some things have changed around here since last year...I've noticed that the quantity of ordinary posting seems to have diminished a bit, probably since the chat room and the on-line voice thing (I really need to catch up with this stuff) have caught on.

So you're a "chat leader" eh? At the risk of sounding like somebody out of the stone age, I log into the chat room using the link at the bottom of your post, right? Then what do I do, and what happens when I do it?

I'm kind of nervous about jumping into this stuff. I should probably read the stickies, right?

Well, I'll start that right now.

Thanks again for your reply, and for being here. My gabapentin, clonazepam, Norco, cocktail is starting to kick in...I'm feeling the RLS tension and electrifying pain subsiding, and although I'd really rather get some sleep without these meds, I guess I'll just (like Ann's posts mention)"...take what I need..."

Hope you have a restful night in AZ...maybe some time you can tell me about Lake Havasu City...my wife and I still haven't made up our minds about where we'd like to eventually retire.

---Andy

ctravel12
Posts: 2125
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 2:02 am
Location: Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Contact:

Post by ctravel12 »

Hi Andy
I get on the chat line at 6 pm AZ time which is 8 pm your time. We get on Monday nights so would love to have you join us. Just click onto the link below my signature and it will take you right to the chat room. You will enjoy the chat room as everyone is very nice and we have a good time and even alot of laughter which is good for the soul.

I would love to tell you about Lake Havasu. If you like hot believe me we are hot now. The temps the past two days was 120 and then we got a cooling trend as it went down to 115 LOL.
Charlene
Taking one day at a time

Kwazylegs
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:46 pm
Location: Lower Alabama

Post by Kwazylegs »

Charlene,

120 F plunging down to 115 F? And there's really a lake... with water in it?

I suppose you're gonna mention that it's "dry heat", right?

I'll try to log on to the Monday chat...is it keyboarding, or do I have to wire myself up for sound? My nerves in my right leg are already wired, complete with zinging current! So I should fit right in, right?

I've never been a part of a "chat room" before...my presence in your chat group should be a real hoot! I can't wait!

"See" ya then.

---Andy

ctravel12
Posts: 2125
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 2:02 am
Location: Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Contact:

Post by ctravel12 »

Hi Andy the chat room for Monday nights is keyboarding. Once you log in it will say logging in and then put your user name in and then click on log in and you are in.

Believe it or not it is a dry heat right now. We do have monsoons which makes it even worse; however have not gotten the monsoons as of yet. When we do and it hits around 110 it seems like 130 or more. We do have a lake and there is water in it.

Looking forward to seeing you in the chat room Monday night. Have a good day.
Charlene
Taking one day at a time

stitch
Posts: 168
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:47 am
Location: Virginia
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Post by stitch »

Hi Andy,

I don't know if you remember me or not but I have had 5 back surgeries and know what you are talking about. I am not going to go into detail about my surgeries but I guess if you check all of my post before you will see my history.

My 1st surgery I had a laminectomy, fusion of the L2/3 and L3/4 area with rods and screws. Soon after my legs went crazy and I went to see the pain dr and he put me on neurontin and it stopped the rls right away. I did some research and found out that having a laminectomy makes rls worse. The next year I another fusion at L4/5 and L5/S1 with rods and screws and cages. It was after that surgery that my big toe on left foot started to hurt and it still does. It's nerve damage. I also had sciatic pain in left leg and that was my 4th surgery.

After each surgery I got better and the rls got better also but my last surgery was a year ago and the biggest. He fused T10 down to L4, a laminectomy and now I have a rod in the middle of my back.

Believe it or not I have gotten better after each surgery but I will always have the nerve pain in my big toe. Some times it worse then others but it's always there. I also have pain in my back but I can live with it and I am walking and don't have rls anymore. The mirapex and neurontin help that.

Here is a good site to read about back pain etc:
http://www.spineuniverse.com/displayart ... cle29.html

I hope I have been some help for you and it's a good idea that you are getting an MRI this week. Things can change after surgery like mine did and it's very important to have a VERY GOOD SURGEON. There are many failed back surgeries, but mine is not. Good luck Andy and keep getting better. Learn more about back surgery and rls

Jeannie/Stitch

Kwazylegs
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:46 pm
Location: Lower Alabama

Post by Kwazylegs »

Hi Stitch,

Thanks so much for your response to my post...you've given me some hope that maybe some of these new symptoms are only temporary.

You have certainly had your share of spine procedures! It's encouraging to know that throughout the process, the result is that you're better than before the procedures.

I'm picking up a sample of Mirapex at my pcp's office in a little while to see if this and clonazepam might help the RLS. For the pain. I'll see how it goes with or without Neurontin and Norco. I'm just winging this...there just doesn't seem to be any exact science for treating these problems, and in the past, I've just arrived at an effective combination and dosage of medications by trial and error.

Sorry about the big toe nerve pain...who knows, maybe that too will somehow disappear someday.

I don't know whether or not my surgery could be considered "failed" or not, since it did eliminate my sciatic pain. Thanks also for the "spineuniverse" link...it's a good one to help understand various spine conditions, and to make relatively educated choices regarding treatment options.

I hope that you have a great day and evening.

===Andy

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