ACL surgery complication: uncontrollable spams/knotting in quad muscle

by Rachel
(Eugene)

I had acl reconstruction (left knee) 4 weeks ago, the knee is doing great. However, about a week ago I started to have uncontrollable muscle spasms and knotting in my quad above the knee. The spasms feel similar to a charley horse, require that my leg be straightened immediately, and leave the whole quad feeling fatigued and sore.

I had flexeril left so i took it but it didn't help. I can not bend my leg because it causes it to seize almost immediately. I went to see my surgeon for help. The doc put me on Skalaxin and methyl-predisone, however these meds have not helped (it has been 5 days now). He thinks posture/back issues, combined with the knee are the cause. While that may indeed be it, a greater concern is how to get the muscle to stop spasming as it is unbelievably painful.

Have you ever heard of this complication from acl surgery before? Is there any type of muscle relaxer that can be injected/localized to unseize the muscle? Please help!



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Oct 27, 2008
quad spasms
by: Bart - SII

I have not seen quadriceps spasm this severe in an ACL patient before. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen though.

Make sure you are hydrating well - lots and lots of water. Spasms in the quad / hamstrings after an ACL surgery are often a protective mechanism, and that can be worsened if you are dehydrated.

Massage and positional release may help to reduce the spasms.

Bart

Jan 03, 2009
Quad muscle spasms
by: Ron Niederbrach

I also have the same severe spasms in my quads and have for years. They seem to come in interval-two or three days running and then will leave me alone for a couple of weeks. They are severe last from one to five mins. Tlhe meds I have used do not seem to work as I keep having the problem. They are extremely painfull. Medical persons do not seem to knnow the whys nor do they place much inportance on trying to fix the problem.

Jan 03, 2009
Possible Answer for others
by: Rachel

I have been meaning to come back to this site and let others know what it was: turns out the anesthesia they put in my femoral nerve for the surgery (typically referred to as nerve blocker) damaged my femoral nerve. My leg is numb from mid thigh to nearly the ankles and the spasms were being caused by the nerves misfiring and sending wrong signals to my quad muscles. Needed a nerve test to diagnose and two drugs bacoflen and lyrica to control. It has been over 3 mths since the surgery and thus far no improvement, though currently i am trying to ease of the meds to see if spasms return. I hope this will help others and if you are experiencing uncontrollable spasms seek a second opinion as it was not a hydration issue

Oct 07, 2009
also have spasms..
by: Anonymous

I had a knee injury 10 days ago, don't need surgery. I've been slowly recovering. The first 7 days I had to walk with my leg completely straight, now I can bend the knee a little and I started having some spasm (cramps). I think its because of the inactivity of the leg and now starting to use the muscles. I'll ask my doctor in a few days.

Dec 02, 2009
protective mechanism
by: Anonymous

if you tense your quads for a few seconds, then relax every time this happens, your quads should stop spasming because they relax better after an isometric exercise

Feb 04, 2010
Micro fracture
by: Kathie

I had a micro fracture done on my knee on December 9, 2009. On December 19, I was changing by ice pac that I had under a brace that didn't allow me to bend my knee and I had the worse muscle spasm (contraction) I have ever had. Several days later, I had another while I was in bed without my brace on. It seems like if I bend my knee so far, the spasm happens. Haven't had one since until last night. I have a hinged brace that allows me to bend my leg to a sitting postion. I went to bed and took the brace off and moved my leg and had the worse spasm yet. I turned 49 years old yesterday and I have never exprenced pain like this. I called my doctor and they suggested more water and stretches. My leg is so sore today that I can hardly touch it, and I can't touch my knee. I read the other coments on this site and was glad to see I'm not the only one that has experenced this. Thanks for the information and suggestions on what to do.

Mar 31, 2010
Tingling, Burning, spasm, pain in quads
by: RKA

It's comforting to know there are other people sharing the same pain.

I had ACL surgery on my left knee August 2009. My rehab was going fine and was actually just about ahead of schedule. Around Nov. i started getting these painful spasms, burning and tingling in my right (non-operated) quad. It was really bad when i did lunges. So my PT eliminated that. That did not help. About a couple of months ago the whole sensation moved to my left (operated)quad. It is very very painful especially when sleeping at night and also when standing in one place. Actually, walking is best for me. I saw my orthopedic surgeon (who performed acl surgery), who took an x-ray (both)of knee, quad, thigh area and saw there was some athritis.But most people my age - 47 have some form of wear and tear. I will see the surgeon again in a week. My PT seems to think it's something related to my back that's radiating down to my quads.The fact that it's happening to both quads (though more severly with operated leg) is mind boggling. I do a lot of massaging with ben-gay and also use the foam roller which gives very brief respite - not to talk about all the pain killers i've been popping ! I've also taken to sleeping with a knee brace which helps somewhat. It is VERY painful and it's unsettling not knowing what it is. I've read that it could be nerve damage from surgery, or some torn tendons. But why both quads. Did i do some exercises incorrecly ?Needless to say my real acl rehab is on hold because it is too painful after i exercise.

PLEASE HELP !!!! Thanks

Apr 07, 2010
response to last 2 posts
by: Anonymous

the spams from the nerve damage where isolated to the quad of the leg i had the acl surgery on. I was told too that it might be a problem coming from my back before they found the real source. I would say for the last poster, this might be the case as it's moving from leg to leg. As for the other poster: your symptoms sound more similar to mine as you said that it was being triggered when bending your leg or when your completely at rest. I would find out if you had a nerve block during surgery and if so see a neurologist. As its been awhile since your post, you may have already done so. If it is the same thing that happened to me then you will likely not relieve the spams until you get proper medications. Muscle relaxers and pain pills will not stop the spasms. As for me, never had sever spasms again but still have mild cramping in the quad often. The nerve damage has not improved hardly at all and it doesn't look like it ever will. I will also add that anything that keeps you from rehabing after ACL: reconstruction is bad. i can't say for sure but suspect the 3 months of torture after my surgery and the lack of being able to rehab the knee is to blame for the fact that i still only have a 60% knee.

May 05, 2010
BOSTON
by: RT QUAD SPASM

I also had a ACL Reconstruction, I have actually posted on other pages of this site over the last couple months for that issue. It's funny that when I did an internet search on quad muscle spasm after ACL reconstruction, the result brought me to this site again.

My injury was a bit more complicated. I tore my ACL, MCL, meniscus as well as fractured bones in my right knee. Had the ACL reconstruction 9/28/09. I had muscle spasms after surgery and mentioned this to my surgeon. They didn't seem to worried. Six weeks after surgery, it was determined that I had quad inhibition in my right leg. Apparently, I chose the wrong physical therapy office and have since changed offices and my quad is making a long and slow recovery.

As a result of the quad inhibition (determined on 10/09), I started really feeling muscle pain in my lower back.

The muscle spasms have started back up again but only when I am sleeping, or actually when it wakes me up from sleep. My leg just starts flailing around on me uncontrollably and then eventually settles down.

After reading some of these posts, I found it funny that I also had the nerve block before surgery. Apparently it didn't "take" as I stated I was experiencing a Level #6 pain after surgery. On a scale from 1-10 the anesthesiologist felt that meant the nerve block didn't work for me.

Since I have been making such slow progress in recovery, I wonder what all this has to do with my healing?

May 21, 2010
Quad spasms after ACL surgery
by: Patrick

Just had ACL/meniscus repair yesterday. Femoral black is wearing off and i'm having some pretty severe quad spasms. I'm hoping that it's just because i'm getting feeling back and not something more serious. Anyone else experience spasms this soon after surgery?

May 25, 2010
response to last post
by: Anonymous

the spasms were later, 3 weeks after surgery. If the nerve block feelings go away (my leg stayed numb and remains that way 2+years later) than you should be fine. If the block doesn't go away then maybe the spasms are related. in the meantime, drink plenty of fluids

Jun 23, 2010
ARP Wave Technology
by: HPJ

There is a new therapy called ARP WAVE technology...it is used for the purpose of reeducating muscles that have been atrophied after surgery. I am not a vendor of the technology....but I have also had acl surgery and have excruciating pain from my sciatic nerve.

Jun 24, 2010
ARP WAVE TECHNOLOGY
by: Boston

Thanks for that post! I'll ask my surgeon and PT's about it. Can you give more details?

Sep 02, 2010
Severe Quad Spasms After ACL Reconstruction with an allograft
by: Anonymous

I had surgery about two and a half weeks ago and have been having very severe spasms in the leg that the surgery was done on.This is the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. My leg literally jumps up off the bed at night all by itself. I think I also had a nerve block that must've been unsuccessful. I wish I'd never of had this done.

Sep 03, 2010
nerve block
by: BOSTON

I am having another surgery in October to "clean up the knee", aka remove scar tissue. I still wake up with muscle spasms in my quad muscle of the leg that was operated on 12 months ago. Since surgery; I have had muscle atrophy, trouble walking (stairs are ridiculously difficult), constant throbbing pain throughout the knee area, and weaknesses in both balance and strength.

I want to bring up all of these issues regarding the femoral nerve block that was administered before the first surgery. During all of my check-ups with my surgeon, no one has mentioned that just "maybe", all the trouble I'm having with strengthening my quad muscle and the painful spasms might "just" have something to do with this "new" procedure.

My surgeon has been saying that I have a permanent cartilage injury that cannot be fixed. I did have part of my meniscus removed (lateral meniscus) but have more cartilage damage beyond that. Is my cartilage "so damaged" I cannot strengthen my quad muscle even with all the exercises I do? Is it the cartilage damage that prevents me from being unable to walk normally and prevent me from being able to walk up and down stairs normally?

Hmmm...who knows, right? Because this is a worker's compensation case, no one really tells me the whole truth. They try and stay upbeat and positive because they want me to return to work as a classroom teacher, too bad the school district let me go from the payroll as soon as they realized I wouldn't be returning to the classroom after injuring myself at their school sponsored Jump-Rope-A-Thon.

I was told by the worker's compensation nurse that I'd be back to running as soon as 3 months after the acl reconstruction. They sent me to the best surgeon in Boston, he performs surgery on pro athletes. I run onto members of the Red Sox when I limp into the surgeon's office for a check-up.

I certainly will be declining the femoral nerve block if asked to try it again before the 2nd surgery next month. This certainly has been a frustrating 17 months!

Nov 20, 2010
A long shot
by: Michael

I'm now 77 and have worked out regularly for over 40 years. Several years ago I started to have particularly painful cramps in my inner thighs, usually when I got up from a sitting position with legs stretched out (as in a recliner chair). I also was experiencing asymptomatic pvs's (skipped heartbeats). Then I remember reading that a shortage of magnesium in the body could irritate muscles (such as cramps and pvc's), so I added 750 mg of magnesium (very inexpensive at a drugstore) to my daily vitamin supplements.

The leg cramps and the pvs stopped and have not returned.

It's a long shot, but worth trying.

Nov 24, 2010
Response to last entry
by: HV

Thank you, I will try increasing my magnesium intake, since nothing have been working, including painkillers. I did not have an ACL surgery; my injury came from overuse or over- training; however my pain includes all of the above injuries mentioned. It has been over a year & I have not been able to workout normally. The pain has decreased from debilitating to nagging & the fear is still there due to the pain I endured during the last year. So here's to a long shot- hopefully the magnesium gets me back to running, thanks again.

Nov 28, 2010
About your knees
by: Michael

In addition to what I wrote previously, I also have knee problems that started with damage to my left medial meniscus as a result of a rugby injury when I was about 39. I played for a few more years, then retired. Since then I have kept in shape by intense riding an exercycle and weight-lifting.

I particularly work on my quads since these are most important for knee stability. I do forward lifts using either a weight shoe or, if onde is available, weight machine. I started about 8 years ago with very light weights and have gradually increased the load as long as I could lift without pain. Despite severe osteoarthritis in that knee this routine has enabled me to keep going without knee replacement.

I also ice the knee afterward, and apply Voltaren gel (diclofenac) that we get from a drugstore in New Zealand where it is sold without prescription.

Nov 30, 2010
Knee surgery (ACL) Replacement
by: Laurel

I agree with Rachel, I had my ACL replaced a few years ago and it was going great until about a year or two ago I started to have , It felt like a tendon was seizing up on the upper inside of my left leg. I didn't know how to control it at first and I didn't go to the Dr. cuz he was a bit of traveling away. But what I did know was that it was right were they gave me that shot and my leg is numb on that side. My cramp is not as bad as most of you but I simply try to breath through it and it seems to work for me most of the time. but you have to relax and breath in through your nose and out your mouth very slowly until its gone.alot of the times it works. Not always.And I do find if I do not drink alot of water I happens more. And its more painful.

Dec 07, 2010
Please help
by: Jessica

I just had ACL/Meniscus reconstructive surgery yesterday morning. I can already feel the nerve block wearing off. They gave me the shot in my upper thigh, which blocks pain in the front of the knee. I now feel a burning/sharp pain in my knee. My upper thigh is also twitching at time. What should I do? Could this be serious?

Jan 02, 2011
Nerve Block
by: Millie

Hey i had my acl reconstruction on december 20th! My mom is a doctor, and i felt my quad twitching as the nerve block wore off over time too. She said its almost like the nerves waking up after sleep. Mine stopped as soon as the block wore off. But if it lasts longer it could be something more.

Now i have pains in my quad as i do straitening exercises, i think its just my quad stretching out, but I'm not sure. When i try to push my knee to the floor it feels like a charlie horse! any suggestions?

Feb 25, 2011
acl post complications
by: Anonymous

I had acl surgery a few months ago and ever since then i get the most horrid muscle spasms and cramps that i cannot get rid of . unfortunately i got pregnant 6 weeks after having surgery so cant take any pain pills and tylenol defe doesn't work. ive also got permanante numbness in my leg from my ankle to my knee. i kept hoping it would go away and the doc said it would but its been 7 months now and nothing no change. i also have lots of fluid around my knee that has NEVEr gone away no matter all the elevating and therapy ive done.

Feb 25, 2011
ACL Miniscus surgery Severe Itching
by: Anonymous

My son 16 y/o son had ACL and meniscus surgery. He too had a block he is complaining of severe itching and twitching in that leg. We have tried benedryl,IB profin and percocet at alternating times. Did anyone else have this severe itching? Did anything help?

Feb 27, 2011
Wow-lots of people finding this thread since I wrote the 1st post
by: Rachel

@Boston and @ Millie:
You 2 sound like you definitely have nerve damage from the nerve block going on. Mille when you said it feels like a charlie horse-yes that is exactly what it felt like. It also sounds like the you guys have problems in the knee too, just like me. I have come to think that it is not only th nerve pain in the leg-but also the inability to rehab it properly that has given me permanent pain in the knee along with the nerve pain. Boston-I too was told I had to remove the hardware and reduce scar tissue so I did a 2nd surgery and I swear it is almost just as bad as before-besides being slightly less tender around the screw site. No I am under care with a pain management specialist and using Lyrica to control the nerve pain. Lyrica will stop the cramps and the worst of the numbing/itching symptoms so if you have not seen a neurologist or a pain management doc-go do that. The guy who operated on your knee is not likely to embrace the idea of nerve pain because they get afraid of liability. But the sad truth is-its impossible to sue for damages because of informed consent (you gave them written permission to operate). Of course Boston has a great case against the school district which I am sure he is pursuing by now. I wish there was a way to tie all of these reaction to the nerve damage together. My doc had never even heard of this type of damage/reaction until it happened to me-which is why it took so long to get diagnosed. maybe I should start a facebook group for people who have been hurt by femoral nerve blocks:)

Mar 12, 2011
Acl Surgery Cramp
by: Anonymous

hey guys i had my acl surgery and meniscus was repaired on March 1, 2011. its been 11days since the surgery and i am having promblems while doing some PT at home. At the end of some of the excersises i do i get a huge cramp that lasts around 20secs located in the inner quad. i dont know if its because of overuse or is it normal or anything. If anyone has some knowledge please let me know.

Mar 12, 2011
Acl Surgery Cramp
by: Anonymous

hey guys i had my acl surgery and meniscus was repaired on March 1, 2011. its been 11days since the surgery and i am having promblems while doing some PT at home. At the end of some of the excersises i do i get a huge cramp that lasts around 20secs located in the inner quad. i dont know if its because of overuse or is it normal or anything. If anyone has some knowledge please let me know.

Mar 13, 2011
Repeat of previous
by: Michael

Scroll up to my suggestion that taking up to 750mg per day of a magnesium supplement might help - as it did for me in relieving painful inner-thigh cramps that came on while relaxing after extensive and intense use of an exercycle. Lack of magnesium can make muscles "irritable" which can result in cramps - and heart pvc's as well.

Mar 15, 2011
response
by: Anonymous

ok man thanks, i will try and see if it works. by the way i start physio on the 21st so ill see what they suggest and ill let you guys know

Apr 14, 2011
permanent atrophy?
by: Anonymous

I am an avid weightlifter who tore my ACL wrestling. I had the doc use the patella tendon to replace the ACL in December 2009. I went through all the prescribed rehab as well as working out some on my own. It is now almost 1.5 years since the surgery. I am back to leg pressing 1000 pounds and deadlifting 405, but I have regained NO size in that quad. It is about half the size of the other one. They used a nerve block on me as well, but my thigh itself feels ok. I am numb about midway through my knee on the outside of the leg down to the middle of my shin. It is so numb that while attending rehab the newbie put the ultrasound machine on me wrong and actually burnt a 1/4 hole into my leg and I never felt it. I only knew I was cooking when I smelled it. Anyway, an athletic trainer at the gym told me she had heard of cases where nerve damage had prevented a muscle from regrowing at all, but I don't have insurance and can't find a doctor who will test for it. Anyone else have this symptom, or have any ideas on what to do? I am in Orlando, FL.

Apr 20, 2011
spasims
by: acl reconstructive

I too just had acl reconstructive surgery along with the nerve blocker. This is the morning after surgery and I am experiencing severe muscle spasms.I found doing ankle pumps help.

Apr 22, 2011
muscle spasms after acl surgery
by: Anonymous

I had acl reconstruction 3 weeks ago. Yesterday after PT started experiencing muscle spasms in the operated leg's quad and tibial tendon, although rather than spasming was more like a constant muscle contraction that lasted several hours. Very uncomfortable. It subsided but I have been more conscious about drinking fluids and electrolytes. So far so good.

Apr 23, 2011
Can't bend my knee
by: Jack

Hello to all,I would like to ask,I had an Acl surgery before one month,but my leg can't bent over 55 degrees,when I try to push it in my physiotherapy sessions I feel a vast pain in the upper side of my kneecap..Is this normal?

Apr 24, 2011
Response
by: Juan

i had my acl surgery two months ago, i suggest if you are expeirencing muscle spasms that means you are forcing your muscle into too much stress, i suggest stop doing that exercise until ur muscle regains a little more strength or change the exercise, becuase i aswell had that and in return i eneded up forcing my knee into too much and made it too sore. btw if your knee cannot bend more or it hurts, dont push or force it because it will make it worse then it already is. jsut keep going to PT and that problem will soon be in the past.
PS: if your knee is too sore, it prevents you from trying to straighten it or bend it normally, so what u should worry about is take it slow and ice it so all the soreness can go away, dont force it. i know you need to have alot of patience and i hate waiting but its true what my physitherapist has told me(everything above) bcuz this week i did notcie change of my knee when its not too sore, it doesnt hurt when you walk or when i wake up in the morning. Just listen to your physiotherapist!

Jul 02, 2011
ACL/Meniscus Surgery 10 days ago.
by: Travis

I have a fancy leg brace to restrict motion between 10 and 90 degrees. Its only today that I am starting to experience these spasms/cramps in my leg. I was given instructions to straighten the leg without the brace for 10 minutes 3 times a day. I have been doing so. I do not sleep with my brace and fear that while sleeping I am bending the knee too much and maybe this is the problem. I have been disciplined with the motion of the leg and wasn't told this would occur. I will be calling my Surgeon shortly to find out what the problem could be. The pain level is around 3 out of 10 but its just uncomfortable and rather irritating. Hope it gets better instead of getting worse. All the best to the rest of you with your recovery. Willing and Disabled...haha!!

Jul 08, 2011
MUSCLE CRAMPS AFTER SURGERY
by: FRED

MY ARTHROSCOPIC SURGERY WAS ON JUNE 27. I HAVE HAD SEVERE MUSCLE CRAMPS AS WELL AS LEG BRUISING. THE DOCTOR SUGGESTED THAT THE BRUISING MIGHT HAVE BEEN CAUSED WHEN THEY PLACED A TURNICATE DURING THE OPERATION TO PREVENT BLEEDING. I AM NOT SURE, BUT I SUSPECT THAT THIS IS ALSO CAUSING THE CRAMPS. COULD THIS ALSO BE CAUSED BY BLOOD CLOTS? MY LEG MUSCLES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN TOO TIGHT (I SUSPECT THIS IS BECAUSE I GREW TO 6' 3" TALL BY THE AGE OF 14 AND I THINK THE BONES GREW FASTER THAN THE MUSCLES DID). AT THE AGE OF 65 I FIND MORE OF A FREQUENCY TO CRAMPING. WHEN I WAS IN ENGLAND I WAS GIVEN QUININE TABLETS. IN THE USA THEY DO NOT DO THIS. I WISH I KNEW THE ANSWER. THE KNEE SURGERY ITSELF SEEMS TO HAVE WORKED WELL, BUT I STILL HAVE SEVERE INTERMITTENT PAIN FROM THE CRAMPING, ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT. ICE HELPS BUT IS NOT THE WHOLE ANSWER. I WOULD LIKE TO GET OFF THE TYLENOL, WHICH DOESN'T REALLY DO THE TRICK.

Jul 08, 2011
Magnesium supplements
by: Michael

Repeat of previous
by: Michael

Scroll up to my suggestion that taking up to 750mg per day of a magnesium supplement might help - as it did for me in relieving painful inner-thigh cramps that came on while relaxing after extensive and intense use of an exercycle. Lack of magnesium can make muscles "irritable" which can result in cramps - and heart pvc's as well.

As no one to whom I made this suggestion has responded one way or another, I have no idea whether this suggestion worked for them. But the cost is very low and the side effects, if any, are minimal, it might be worth trying.

Jul 08, 2011
MAGNESIUM
by: FRED

SINCE I HAVE INSOMNIA I TAKE A 1000 MG OF MAGNESIUM AND 200 MG OF SELENIUM EVERY NIGHT. IT WORKS FOR INSOMNIA, BUT NOT FOR MY MUSCLE CRAMPS. I ALSO TAKE MULTI-MINERALS EVERY DAY ALSO.

MY SYMPTOMS ARE THAT I HAVE CONSTANT PAIN AT CERTAIN PLACES ON MY LEG, WHERE THE BRUISING IS THE WORST. ALMOST AS THOUGH THE CRAMPS NEVER QUITE GO AWAY. I SUSPECT THAT THERE MIGHT BE EITHER MUSCLE DAMAGE OF BLOOD CLOTS.

Oct 12, 2011
ACL and Quad
by: Brett

I know this post is OLD but since I found it in a google search for what I'm experiencing myself I figured I'd post my $0.02.
I just had my ACL reconstructed from my Patella 2 weeks ago to the day but 5 days ago I started to get severe cramps in my quad as well, just above my knee. Now, I have a very high tolerance for pain but this cramping is just irritating as all gitout. I've found massaging it out by pressing my palm really hard into my quad just below the cramp (close to the knee) and rolling it up my leg in the direction of the muscle. It feels like a deep cramp so I have to press really, really hard and it's pretty painful to do but it feels better for awhile after. Keep in mind, I have to bend my leg @ 70 to 80 degrees before I can start feeling the cramp and that alone I'm sure is painful enough for most people to proceed no further, but try it anyway and see if it works for you.
Another thing that helps is to get back on the CPM at 120 degrees for a bit while I still have it. If you don't have yours anymore, lay on your bed and slowly let your leg droop off the edge till it's bent at the appropriate angle, or use a chair.
I'm not sure what triggers the cramps and I've tried taking potassium gluconate to help but I'll be asking my PT tomorrow if he knows of anything that could be causing it.
Hope this helps somebody else who came across this site. :)

Oct 12, 2011
Cramps in your Quads
by: Rachel (OG Poster)

Pretty random Brett that you would post on this today because lo and behold-I think I just re-injured my ACL again today and if so, will need a 3rd freaking surgery!
But back to your post:
Those sound a lot like my cramps as tey started out-with them being set off by bending my leg-say enough to drive my car. If they continue or get worse tell your doc you want a nerve conduction test ASAP. Maybe if you can catch it early and get Lyrica-you can still be able to rehab the knee properly. Keep us posted
Oh, and this assumes hey used a nerve bloc on you for the surgery

Dec 22, 2011
ACL Surgery in L&R NEW
by: Anonymous

07/2011 I had my L knee and then the R knee 09/2011. It is 12/2011 and at night I am attacked by the spasm charley horse from my ankle all the way up pass the back of knee it hurts and unbearable, I have tried everything to make sure potasium, magnesium, lots of water and complaining to the doctor who did the surgery and nothing. I hate when the night comes because I spend the night crying rubbing my knees and legs sometimes it feels like some nerve was hit and I wonder if I should see a neurologist. Again the doctor keeps saying it has nothing to do with the knee surgery, but I didn't have this until afterward. I'm worried at night I'm like a cripple none of my shoes feel good on my feet because the pain as gone from my knees to my feet and back up again. I'm at my wits end and reading everything I can too see if there is something else I can try or is this it for the rest of my life I don't know. Anyone found any relief let me know. Thanks

Dec 22, 2011
ACL Surgery in L&R NEW
by: Anonymous

07/2011 I had my L knee and then the R knee 09/2011. It is 12/2011 and at night I am attacked by the spasm charley horse from my ankle all the way up pass the back of knee it hurts and unbearable, I have tried everything to make sure potasium, magnesium, lots of water and complaining to the doctor who did the surgery and nothing. I hate when the night comes because I spend the night crying rubbing my knees and legs sometimes it feels like some nerve was hit and I wonder if I should see a neurologist. Again the doctor keeps saying it has nothing to do with the knee surgery, but I didn't have this until afterward. I'm worried at night I'm like a cripple none of my shoes feel good on my feet because the pain as gone from my knees to my feet and back up again. I'm at my wits end and reading everything I can too see if there is something else I can try or is this it for the rest of my life I don't know. Anyone found any relief let me know. Thanks

Dec 23, 2011
Yes-see Neurologist!!! NEW
by: Anonymous

YES-ask for a referral to a neurologist and get a nerve conduction test. Sounds like you have sustained nerve damage and they can give you a drug called Lyrica which will stop the spasms immediately-don't wait!!!

Dec 25, 2011
Pain Management NEW
by: Anonymous

Thanks I will request to see a neurologist as this is no way for someone to live I'm up all night with horrible pain I feel at times or I imagine I'm being electricuted and all the plans for my life when the night is over I feel impossible as I'm tired and mentally destroyed. How could they use something like this for surgery didn't they test it before hand and I never read that I could end up with being worst off. Also, this may help some of you out there that have this problem as sometimes I can sleep on my stomach and the pain just may go away not always but I guess sometimes something up there finds a way to let me get some sleep. Again thanks for the information I sometimes hear on the commercials about this Lyrica it says horrible things about it but I notice many on this site using it maybe I don't have a choice either use it or live in horror.

Jan 16, 2012
Femoral Nerve Palsy NEW
by: Anonymous

I went into surgery on 10/28/10 and I have never recovered. I have had Physical therapy, rehab, leg braces etc... I have been through every medical test known, and what I have is Femoral Nerve Palsy in the left leg, atrophied quad, and chondromalacia patella . I will never regain full use of my leg, and have been told that on a scale from 1-4 in nerve damage, I have 4+ nerve damage. I have multiple doctors, and second opinions.

I am a teacher, and I have had to go to working a 3 day work week because of the nerve pain and the weakness in my leg. This has limited my income and ability to live my life in a normal active way.

I don't know what to do, I feel that the doctor is to blame somehow, but it doesn't make any sense because I didn't have a nerve block, and I only went in to get scar tissue removed.

Any thoughts?

Jan 16, 2012
Here's my advice NEW
by: Rachel

Assuming your leg was perfectly fine before your procedure and that all of these problems started as a result of the procedure then I would consult a personal injury attorney. The only thing is that there may be statute of limitations so I'd get on it soon. And don't just call one on the phone. Gather all of your records (you can request copies from all the doctors and the procedure) and find one that offers free consultations. Although I'll be living with a bad leg for the rest of my life, I am still able to work and do most things. Still I wish I had been more persistent about figuring out if I had a claim because now it's been multiple surgeries, monthly Dr. appts, several thousand dollars (and growing-another surgery is on the horizon) and a great deal of pain. I called 1 attorney's office and they said that because I had authorized the nerve block in my surgery consent forms (but had no idea I did, they never discussed it with me) that I didn't really have a great chance. I still wish I had at least gotten a second opinion.
Further, it sounds like you may have a partial disability claim. That process can take a long time, and be difficult but if you are persistent, than you will be able to recover some of the income you are losing from the reduced hours from SS.
Hope this helps-keep us posted.

Jan 30, 2012
crazy muscle spasms after ACL surgery NEW
by: Anonymous

i had ACL recontructive surgery where they used my hamstring and also fixed a tear in my meniscus. It has been 10 days since surgery and my knee is not really hurting but i am having severe muscle spasms behind my calf, on inside of my shinbone, and a constant charlie horse that seems to wake me every 2 hours!

reading these comments i am very nervous because i had TWO nerve blocks -- one before and one after surgery because the pain was uncontrollable in the BACK of my leg from where they took the hamstring.

they said the dehydration thing to me too but i am always drinking water and doenst seem to help. i stopped taking pain killers 1 day after surgery, but am now finding myself taking them for these spasms at night to try to get some sleep.

any other ideas? is this because they harvested my healthy hamstring and my leg is just pissed off about that? instead of ice, i am using heating pads which seems to help momentarliy.

Jan 30, 2012
Thanks Rachael NEW
by: Mary

Thanks Rachael! I didn't have a nerve block. I am thinking that it was the position that my leg was in. I am going to make an appointment with the original OS to find out how long my leg was in that position. That is the only thing we can think of. I will look into partial disability too. I will keep you posted about what the original OS says. I was a very healthy 42 year old when this all happened. It's just hard to deal with, most days.

Feb 25, 2012
really bad quad cramps NEW
by: Anonymous

I have not had any surgerie, but I do have hurniated L3 and L4 discs, I too have a left quad leg cramp that feels like its being pulled to the inside, and lasts about 5 mins. and then I can't walk because leg is too tired. The only thing that helps is magnesium 750 mg a day. cramps always start a 3 am. if I don't take magnesium, worst pain I have every felt. possible its caused by the discs?

Feb 26, 2012
Magnesium NEW
by: Michael

As I posted way back in this thread, I read somewhere that lack of mg could result in nerve irritation, so I started taking 750 mg per day. The mg stopped the painful cramps of the inner thigh muscles I would often get after intense exercise followed by sitting for a while in a reclining chair. It also stopped the frequent irregular heartbeats (pvcs) that I also experienced after exercising (which, fortunately, didn't both me). These symptoms were caused by irritation to the heart muscle. I am 78, and as one gets older we are less able to absorb magnesium from our food. One caution - if I took all 750 mg at the same time, a while later I would get a brief spell of the runs - not bad if I needed a laxative (which I don't). So I take 500 mg in the morning, and 250 mg several hours later.

Jun 10, 2012
Muscle Spasms NEW
by: Anonymous

I had a partial knee replacement 7 weeks ago. About 2 weeks ago I began having debilitating muscle spasms in my quadricep. I only get them from triggers like: something hitting the back of my leg or if I'm startled by something. I do not get them at night or during rest. It has become a serious problem because they always happen when I'm standing or walking on crutches. The pain and surge of tension and like an "electrecution feeling" cause my leg to shoot out and I always fall to the ground. The doctor ordered flexeril, but I cannot take them during the day because they make me very sleepy. I have tried taking them at night hoping that the effects will last throughout the day. Sometimes it happens a few times a day. I have major swelling and some bruising in my knee from these episodes. I was wondering if anyone else had post-operative muscle spasms due to the same reasons as I.

Jun 10, 2012
Muscle Spasms NEW
by: Anonymous

I had a partial knee replacement 7 weeks ago. About 2 weeks ago I began having debilitating muscle spasms in my quadricep. I only get them from triggers like: something hitting the back of my leg or if I'm startled by something. I do not get them at night or during rest. It has become a serious problem because they always happen when I'm standing or walking on crutches. The pain and surge of tension and like an "electrecution feeling" cause my leg to shoot out and I always fall to the ground. The doctor ordered flexeril, but I cannot take them during the day because they make me very sleepy. I have tried taking them at night hoping that the effects will last throughout the day. Sometimes it happens a few times a day. I have major swelling and some bruising in my knee from these episodes. I was wondering if anyone else had post-operative muscle spasms due to the same reasons as I.

Jul 14, 2012
Twitching/ Spasms NEW
by: Zach

Hey guys just had ACL reconstruction surgery and meniscus repair with the allograft. I too had a femoral nerve block. Doctor gave me exercises to do but I can't do all of them because my quad is too weak. 2 days ago my quad starting twitching/spasming when I tried to flex, but there is no pain. Is this the leg just coming back to life and trying to regain its muscle?

Aug 08, 2012
Solution for cramps and spasms NEW
by: Kyriacos

Hi. I am currently on my second week of ACL and I remember that the first days I had very painful spasms and cramps. The only thing that took them away immediately was water and magnesium with emphasis on magnesium. It works wonders. I continued having spasms but because of the magnesium they were and still are small jerks of the muscles that happen in other part of your body but not as frequent. Part of the spasms is your body waking up, party because is hurt. Regulate it chemically because your body depletes your from calcium after ACL surgery (building of the bone) and your muscles need electrolyte minerals..calcium, potassium, magnesium otherwise muscle functions starts destabilising.

try it out. i think it will help you

Aug 23, 2012
ACL PAIN NEW
by: zarco555

I HAD ACL SURGERY 4 MONTHS AGO AND STILL I HAVE THROBBING PAIN ; KNEE LOCKS TO WERE I HAVE TO STOP
WHAT IM DOING AND SIT. I DONT KNOW IF THIS IS SOMTHING WE JUST HAVE TO SUCK IT UP AND CONTINUE
WITH LIFE OR NOT BUT TRUTHFULLY IT SUCKS...

Dec 02, 2012
Acl surgery Charley horse like pain NEW
by: Alison

I have had my second acl surgery oct 15 the first one was March 2011 and yesterday was the first time I had this unbearable charley horse-like pain and I cannot stand it it feels like someone is stabbing me in the knee. It's not in my quad though its right under my kneecap and this has just started yesterday which is 7 weeks post op. I need to stop this because I am returning to work soon which I walk around all day.

Dec 02, 2012
Acl surgery Charley horse like pain NEW
by: Alison

I have had my second acl surgery oct 15 the first one was March 2011 and yesterday was the first time I had this unbearable charley horse-like pain and I cannot stand it it feels like someone is stabbing me in the knee. It's not in my quad though its right under my kneecap and this has just started yesterday which is 7 weeks post op. I need to stop this because I am returning to work soon which I walk around all day.

Dec 02, 2012
Acl surgery Charley horse like pain NEW
by: Alison

I have had my second acl surgery oct 15 the first one was March 2011 and yesterday was the first time I had this unbearable charley horse-like pain and I cannot stand it it feels like someone is stabbing me in the knee. It's not in my quad though its right under my kneecap and this has just started yesterday which is 7 weeks post op. I need to stop this because I am returning to work soon which I walk around all day.

Dec 30, 2012
Muscle spasms after total knee replacement NEW
by: Evelyn

I had a TKR on November 13th. Six weeks have gone by and the latest pain felt like a knot in the back of the knee. That pain was followed by a muscle spasam up the back of my leg (from the knee to the groin area). Extremely painful and not improving with any stretching, etc. because of the holiday, I have not had PT for a few days but hope they will be able to relieve this pain when I return! Any suggestions for improving this situation will be gladly accepted. I am taking the hydration recommendation seriously....thank you!

Dec 30, 2012
Acl Repair/Spams in knee NEW
by: Anonymous

I Had ACl Surgery on March 10 2012 and after I would have crazy spasms, and still i have them. All i know is if i were an athelete i would have gotten better treatment. I had my surgery performed by one of the best so i here.. And still when i walk my knee locks and i have spams ..maybe for the rest of my life. The only thing i can say positive is im walking ..IN PAIN.. GOOD LUCK..

Dec 30, 2012
Acl Repair/Spams in knee NEW
by: Anonymous

I Had ACl Surgery on March 10 2012 and after I would have crazy spasms, and still i have them. All i know is if i were an athelete i would have gotten better treatment. I had my surgery performed by one of the best so i here.. And still when i walk my knee locks and i have spams ..maybe for the rest of my life. The only thing i can say positive is im walking ..IN PAIN.. GOOD LUCK.. I hope i can play sports and run without this pain and popping of the knee..

Jan 20, 2013
ACL revision surgery NEW
by: Anonymous

I had ACL revision surgery on Jan 9th..I really haven't had much pain at all but tonight while laying completely still in bed I had the worst spasm right above my knee cap in the knee that was operated on. This was probably the worst pain i have experienced even after my surgery. I to had a nerve block. They gave me two shots one on the inside of my upper thigh and one basically in my butt..i do still have some numbness though out different parts of my leg. Is the spasm that I experienced normal? I'm also experiencing like a hot burning feeling in my upper inner thigh area??

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