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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index


My husband had ACDF on 7/13 after one month of torturous pain which could not be alleviated with various combinations of: hydrocodone, oxycontin, cortisone pills, shots, fentanyl patches, lidocaine patches, valium and home stim machine. Right after surgery the pain was gone. In the hospital for 2 nights he had morphine shots and ambien (didn't work). The first night home he slept like a baby. The only medication he took once he got home was tylenol. Then starting the night of 7/16 he started to become distraught with discomfort, not pain, body writhing and he is experiencing involuntary arm and leg muscle spasm like movements. Especially when he lays down. He hasn't slept in two days and is besides himself with these spasm like arm and leg movements and tense and bone and muscle tightness. It's almost unbearable for him. HELP PLEASE.
He should be taking his medication as perscribed.

This is a problem when the pain is eliviated by the surgery, it "seems" so much better. Problem is, this is a major surgery, and there is a healing and recovery process that requires meds.

If he is taking his meds, he may be having a reaction to them. There could be another problem. If this is the case call his doctor. Make sure you tell whoever you talk to exactly what's going on.
I could not sleep in a bed for the 1st couple weeks after each of my surgeries. I slept in a recliner for 2- 3 weeks. It wasn't the most comfortable sleeping conditions compared to the norm but it got me through until I was able to feel comfortable sleeping in bed. The spasms should gradually go away. I still get spasms with my left foot occassionally. He may also see if his Dr. will prescribe Xanax. It helped me sleep.

Hope this helps,

Frank :dizzy:
It's important to report any troubling symptoms to the doctor immediately. We here can all share our experiences and give personal advice, but only the doctor can really know what is going on.

About the second week post-op I started having muscle spasms. Partly due to the surgery and the cervical collar but also in other parts of my body based on the uncomfortable position I was sleeping in. My doctor had prescribed pain meds and muscle relaxants and said "whatever you do, take these until you see me again" and when I went in again I told him I still have muscle spasms in the neck and back. I continue taking muscle relaxants on a semi-regular basis and am now just about 9 weeks post ACDF C5-C7 5/18/06
I swear, reading this message made ME hurt!

I don't think I know of a single person who was able to sleep laying down after an ACDF. If he can sleep in a recliner or at least propped upright with pillows, he may find some relief. I know that I was only able to sleep a few hours at a time for about the first week.

Pain, muscle spasms and various nerve sensations are some of the symptoms your husband may experience during his recovery, especially during the first two or three weeks. He should have pain meds and muscle relaxers. Many surgeons also prescribe anti-anxiety medication, as that seems to be an extremely common problem after this surgery.

Definitely talk to someone in your surgeon's office and try to get some help. If that doesn't work, try talking to your regular physician. If worse come to worse, take your husband to the emergency room and get prescriptions there.

The writhing sounded kind of like an allergic reaction to something, but you said he was taking only Tylenol.

Good luck to both of you. I hope he starts feeling better soon.





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