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Author Topic: 2 days post-op, muscle spasms...I'm worried.  (Read 2029 times)

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Offline mrsredkevin

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2 days post-op, muscle spasms...I'm worried.
« on: August 24, 2007, 12:57:22 AM »
My husband broke his patella into 5 pieces on 10 August.  Since we have no health insurance, surgery (ORIF) was delayed until Tuesday, the 21st.  The operation went well and he came home and was doing fine, even slept relatively well that night.  Then yesterday around 11:30 am, he began shaking with pain.  His entire body was rigid and he was nearly crying out.  He begged me for another vicodin, but I had just given him one only 30 minutes before.  He complained about his leg cramping and intense pain in his calf. 

I called the emergency # listed on his post-op sheet, and of course they suspected a blood clot.  We went to the ER...ultrasounds came back clear, x-rays were fine, absolutely nothing wrong.  The ortho at the ER told us it was just normal post-op pain made worse by muscle spasms.  He prescribed oxycontin and cyclobenzine (sp? - a muscle relaxant).  My husband is still not feeling better today.  He keeps complaining that his leg is twisted and that the ER did not put his post-op brace back on correctly.  He is managing to doze off every now and then, but then he wakes up screaming in pain from another muscle spasm.  The ER ortho didn't seem concerned, and my husband is extremely upset.  I hate seeing him in so much pain.  What can I do?  His post-op appt is next Thursday morning, and being uninsured and broke, we really can't afford to send him in again to only be sent home because this is "normal post-op pain." 

Does this sound normal to you?  Any advice would be very much appreciated! 

Offline Jaci

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Re: 2 days post-op, muscle spasms...I'm worried.
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2007, 02:03:01 AM »
Hi there,

Sorry your husband is in so much pain. You may have already checked, but it is possible that the ER did not put his brace back on correctly. It wouldn't be the first time for someone to post about that happening.

Were you given any post-op instructions on applying ice packs to help with pain and swelling? There may be info on the post-op sheet. If not, you may need to call the doctor's office to ask about it. Ice and elevating the leg can be very helpful for both pain and swelling. Just be sure there is a layer of fabric between the ice pack and skin.

A few times post-op I've had muscle cramps along with severe swelling and finally figured out that my electrolytes were out of balance. Make sure your husband is drinking enough water. You might want to try a sports drink like Gatorade. I took potassium gluconate tablets and they seemed to help, however this may be contraindicated for certain health conditions. You could try giving him a couple bananas or a baked potato.

You might also want to take a look down further on the board for the section called "bone breaks around the knee." You might find some helpful advice there.

I hope your husband feel better soon.

Jaci
« Last Edit: August 24, 2007, 02:06:49 AM by Jaci »
10/03 Twist injury
12/03 Menisectomy- tears ACL, MCL, & LCL missed by OS
Arthrofibrosis ROM 38-68
3/04- 4/08 Multiple scar tissue procedures:
6 scopes w/LOA, AIR, LR, chondroplasty, synovectomy, bone spur & plica removal
3 insufflations, many injections
Chronic AF, patella infera, IPCS

trainwreck

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Re: 2 days post-op, muscle spasms...I'm worried.
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2007, 02:11:59 AM »
I completely agree with Jaci.  Push potassiium, ice, rest, elevate keep up on pain meds, do not fall behind!!!!!!!
I have often had muscle spasms post op but never to the extent he is having.  Is he in a brace or cast?  They could easily have that brace on wrong or too tight/loose  so many things.  That must be really scary for you to see him in that kind of pain.  Isn't there an MD you can call?  I wouldn't think you would get charged if you went to the cllinic instead of ER it should be covered under his surgery costs. I am not sure on that but obviously you don't' want to mess with pain that severe.  They should have him on meds that keep him a lot more comfortable than he is.  I wonder if the med's are making hin foggy and he isn't thinking clearly.  You really have to struggle for a couple of weeks to get over the anesthesia fog.  Keep in touch.  I hope he gets relief very soon.  I feel bad for you too watching him suffer.  It is as tough on you as it is on him.
Trainwreck

Offline mrsredkevin

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Re: 2 days post-op, muscle spasms...I'm worried.
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2007, 01:15:06 PM »
Well, we called the OS last night and were given permission to move and readjust the brace.  They want him to come in for an appt today because they've given him the maximum rx for pain possible.  (They said the oxycontin = basically morphine in pill form.) 

After readjusting the brace, he did sleep a bit better last night.  The spasms still woke him, but now his knee doesn't start to bend when it happens.  I think the brace was on quite wrong.  I'm anxious to see what the OS has to say and hopefully we can get this pain under control. 

(Perhaps I'll stop at the store on the way home to buy gatorade & bananas.)

Thanks so much for your help & suggestions!















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