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Thread: muscle tightness at night after fusion surgery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    153

    muscle tightness at night after fusion surgery

    "Limited range of motion creates an increase in soft tissue tightness, with an ensuing pain-spasm cycle which can be difficult to break." from http://www.livestrong.com/article/11...ius-neck-pain/

    Does your experience or knowledge back this statement up?

    I feel tight at the origin of the muscles in the thoracic vertebrae.

    What's the best strategy to combat this? strengthen the muscles or stretch them?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sioux City, Iowa
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    I'm glad you asked this question, I've been wondering the same thing.

    My fusion is lumbar (T11-Sacrum). My PT has me doing stretches for my traps in order to at least keep those muscles stretched. But, I've been wondering if at 7-months post op (Actually, I was given this stretch at about 5 months post op) should I be stretching muscles right above my fusion?

    Kathy
    Decompression surgery L4/L5
    April 3, 2015
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Fused from T11 - Sacrum anterior/posterior
    June 24, 2016 - 55 years old at surgery
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Before Surgery: 42 degrees lumbar, 28 degrees thoracic
    After Surgery: 10 degrees lumbar, ?? Thoracic
    2 inches taller

  3. #3
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    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    184
    Kathy,

    Are you still currently doing PT? And if so, have you been doing it constant since surgery?
    Pre-surgery- 80+ thoracic/ 60+ lumbar
    Still unsure of post-op numbers
    37 yrs. old, 6'7" ish
    Scoli pics

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sioux City, Iowa
    Posts
    89
    I no longer go to PT appointments, but I do still do the exercises I was given, pretty much daily. I felt like I had hit a plateau with wanting new exercises, I felt like I had plenty to work on for awhile. Mine were primarily core strengthening & flexibility for my hips/hamstrings. He did give me the trap stretch which was basically hanging from a bar (I installed one at home in a doorway), but the bar is only at something like 5'9" so when I'm "hanging" from it, my feet are on the floor w/my hips at almost a 90 degree angle. This way my body is not swinging and I don't risk arching my back. My body is very stable during the exercise. I do this for 5 breaths in & out. It does feel good, but I just worry about stretching the muscles above my fusion this early. I don't do this every day. But, I do something core related and leg stretching every day. I have my 8-month post op the end of February and I will ask my surgeon about more PT appointments and will share my concern about some of the PT things that I am concerned about. For the ones I'm concerned about, I simply don't do them. I want to ask my surgeon first.

    Kathy
    Decompression surgery L4/L5
    April 3, 2015
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Fused from T11 - Sacrum anterior/posterior
    June 24, 2016 - 55 years old at surgery
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Before Surgery: 42 degrees lumbar, 28 degrees thoracic
    After Surgery: 10 degrees lumbar, ?? Thoracic
    2 inches taller

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Chicago-"land"
    Posts
    157

    Muscle spasm for 2 mos solid now

    I am recovering from T-3 to sacrum and iliac screws so I'm basically immobile and cannot stretch anyways. At 7 mos post-op I had a fall and have been in agonizing muscle spasm ever since. It is non stop. I've tried meds (I was not on narcotic meds before) muscle spasm meds (some, baclofen and diazepam). Since the FDA has pretty much handcuffed the pain management doctors, the strongest meds I can get for this agony is Norco, which I've gone through like a freight train. I've also been prescribed hysingla (new from 2014) and paid $265 as my copay. NOTHING works. Sitting too long is bad. Lying in bed is really bad. Walking is ok. I have tried trigger point injections (incredibly painful) and there is simply nothing left for me to try.

    The surgeon has ordered a CT scan but he says it's pointless because my X-rays look "fine". Well, massive muscle spasms don't show on an X-ray. All my doctors have failed me - no decent meds for pain and no answers. I'm truly at the end of my rope and have even considered the "end" of my rope, that is how bad this pain is. It's 8/9 all the time. I've even tried alcohol to relax (without the meds). This thread interested me for that reason - why in the world is this happening and why doesn't ANYONE care? I've been accused of drug seeking behaviour (really?, I turned down morphine this summer) and have attempted to reduce all my meds before this event happened. If anyone has any answers, I'd love to know where to turn next. I'm completely housebound, live alone and am just tired of it all. Two solid months of agonizing muscle spasm is not normal!

    I am only allowed walking as PT at this point, btw. Icing kills me (rods under my skin freeze) and heat provide very temporary relief. I mean - there's nothing left to do.....
    Last edited by Chihuahua Mama; 01-29-2017 at 03:39 PM.
    Susan
    XLIF/Posterior Surgery 6/16/08. Fused T10-L5 in CA by Dr. Michael Kropf (don't go there unless it's simple, I hear he's at Cedar's now). Very deformed, had revision w/5 PSO's, rods from T-3 to sacrum including iliac screws, all posterior, 5/23/16 with Dr. Purnendu Gupta of Chicago.


    Owner of Chachi the Chihuahua, So Cal born and bred, now a resident of 'Chicagoland' Illinois. Uh, dislike it here....thank God there was ONE excellent spine surgeon in this area.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    153
    Quote Originally Posted by Chihuahua Mama View Post
    I am recovering from T-3 to sacrum and iliac screws so I'm basically immobile and cannot stretch anyways. At 7 mos post-op I had a fall and have been in agonizing muscle spasm ever since. It is non stop. I've tried meds (I was not on narcotic meds before) muscle spasm meds (some, baclofen and diazepam). Since the FDA has pretty much handcuffed the pain management doctors, the strongest meds I can get for this agony is Norco, which I've gone through like a freight train. I've also been prescribed hysingla (new from 2014) and paid $265 as my copay. NOTHING works. Sitting too long is bad. Lying in bed is really bad. Walking is ok. I have tried trigger point injections (incredibly painful) and there is simply nothing left for me to try.

    The surgeon has ordered a CT scan but he says it's pointless because my X-rays look "fine". Well, massive muscle spasms don't show on an X-ray. All my doctors have failed me - no decent meds for pain and no answers. I'm truly at the end of my rope and have even considered the "end" of my rope, that is how bad this pain is. It's 8/9 all the time. I've even tried alcohol to relax (without the meds). This thread interested me for that reason - why in the world is this happening and why doesn't ANYONE care? I've been accused of drug seeking behaviour (really?, I turned down morphine this summer) and have attempted to reduce all my meds before this event happened. If anyone has any answers, I'd love to know where to turn next. I'm completely housebound, live alone and am just tired of it all. Two solid months of agonizing muscle spasm is not normal!

    I am only allowed walking as PT at this point, btw.

    Some doctors just don't understand. I feel your pain. Try to concentrate on the muscles and relax them. You still can tight the muscle at your will despite having no motion there. Concentrate on the part of the body that aches and contract that muscles. Try Ice and cold therapy. How old are you, btw?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Chicago-"land"
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    157
    Quote Originally Posted by richardis View Post
    Some doctors just don't understand. I feel your pain. Try to concentrate on the muscles and relax them. You still can tight the muscle at your will despite having no motion there. Concentrate on the part of the body that aches and contract that muscles. Try Ice and cold therapy. How old are you, btw?
    Thanks for responding! I'm 59. After revision surgery I was doing so well, taller, straighter then this happens. I have truly researched and tried everything I know to do, including some meditation (I'm no pro, but I just try and relax). BTW, Icing nearly killed me this morning; it made it worse as it froze the rods so close under my skin.
    Susan
    XLIF/Posterior Surgery 6/16/08. Fused T10-L5 in CA by Dr. Michael Kropf (don't go there unless it's simple, I hear he's at Cedar's now). Very deformed, had revision w/5 PSO's, rods from T-3 to sacrum including iliac screws, all posterior, 5/23/16 with Dr. Purnendu Gupta of Chicago.


    Owner of Chachi the Chihuahua, So Cal born and bred, now a resident of 'Chicagoland' Illinois. Uh, dislike it here....thank God there was ONE excellent spine surgeon in this area.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    153
    Quote Originally Posted by Chihuahua Mama View Post
    Thanks for responding! I'm 59. After revision surgery I was doing so well, taller, straighter then this happens. I have truly researched and tried everything I know to do, including some meditation (I'm no pro, but I just try and relax). BTW, Icing nearly killed me this morning; it made it worse as it froze the rods so close under my skin.
    I did no more than duty :-). This forum should be to give and take. I'm afraid some people out here are only taking and not giving. And that is sad! :-(
    Please give and take. We all need need each other!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Chicago-"land"
    Posts
    157
    Quote Originally Posted by richardis View Post
    I did no more than duty :-). This forum should be to give and take. I'm afraid some people out here are only taking and not giving. And that is sad! :-(
    Please give and take. We all need need each other!
    You are right; and I've been guilty myself. After surgery #1 I stayed active for a while then 6 years later surgery #2. I'm taking those words to heart, they were meant for me.
    Susan
    XLIF/Posterior Surgery 6/16/08. Fused T10-L5 in CA by Dr. Michael Kropf (don't go there unless it's simple, I hear he's at Cedar's now). Very deformed, had revision w/5 PSO's, rods from T-3 to sacrum including iliac screws, all posterior, 5/23/16 with Dr. Purnendu Gupta of Chicago.


    Owner of Chachi the Chihuahua, So Cal born and bred, now a resident of 'Chicagoland' Illinois. Uh, dislike it here....thank God there was ONE excellent spine surgeon in this area.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Chicago-"land"
    Posts
    157
    I did read the article in Livestrong, but I've yet to come across anyone who's had these spasms below the top surgical point and in between the ribs, not the neck. Mornings are the absolute worst.

    For anyone experiencing the same problem, trigger point injections made matters worse. Pain meds (Norco at least) doesn't work. The muscle relaxers I've been taking have lost their potency for me. I truly can't find a soul (MD or otherwise) who cares or has even an idea what is going on. My surgeon reluctantly wrote an order for a CT scan and it's pretty much my last hope for finding a cause.

    I did try tightening those muscles as suggested but they don't relax with the same effort. None of the doctors have answers so maybe I'll try acupuncture. Right now I'm playing a mental game - who's tougher, me or you, spasm? So far the spasms are winning.
    Susan
    XLIF/Posterior Surgery 6/16/08. Fused T10-L5 in CA by Dr. Michael Kropf (don't go there unless it's simple, I hear he's at Cedar's now). Very deformed, had revision w/5 PSO's, rods from T-3 to sacrum including iliac screws, all posterior, 5/23/16 with Dr. Purnendu Gupta of Chicago.


    Owner of Chachi the Chihuahua, So Cal born and bred, now a resident of 'Chicagoland' Illinois. Uh, dislike it here....thank God there was ONE excellent spine surgeon in this area.

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