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Author Topic: Bad calf spasm after ACLr  (Read 2861 times)

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Offline carla05

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Bad calf spasm after ACLr
« on: August 24, 2014, 03:15:09 AM »
Hello,

Im 2 weeks out of my ACLr surgery and I have a very bad calf spasm. I was tested for DVT and im good, but my spasm is so bad i can barely put any weight on the leg because of the pain in the calf (not even on my knee) I've been stretching and applying cold and heat and nothing seems to help. been doing PT, taking muscles relaxers. i just cant take it anymore... my knee hurts but sometimes the pain in my calf is worst


My graft was taken from my hamstring... and the doc said it has nothing to do with that,,,

Before my surgery i had a bad limp because of my injury (thats what cause my spasm) then 7 weeks later i had my surgery because my acl was ruptured in a way it wouldnt let me complete ROM.


if someone has any advise for me.. pls let me know.

Offline Snowy

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Re: Bad calf spasm after ACLr
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 02:27:32 AM »
It's great that you got tested for DVT and are in the clear - that would always be the main concern with something like this.

It's most likely that you're experiencing something that quite a few of us here have been through in the aftermath of surgery, which is a very bad calf spasm caused by the haematoma from the surgery (blood and fluids) draining down from the knee through your lower leg. It's quite an invasive surgery, so this can feel terrible - I remember being in agony from it, and other people talking about it feeling worse than the knee pain. I found it was worst when I went from lying or sitting with my legs straight to standing.

Unfortunately if this is the cause there's a great deal you can do apart from grit your teeth and get through it, but the good news is that as the haematoma drains it will clear up by itself. Eventually I had a bunch of bruising emerge on my foot and a stiff ankle for a few days, and then it was gone. If I recall correctly it typically takes 2-3 weeks for this to happen. If it hasn't improved by the three week mark, I would see your doctor again.

Doing lots of ankle pumps will also help a bit, so this would be a good idea if you're not already doing them as part of physio.
Mar 11: R Biceps femoris tear (skiing)
Jul 10: ACLr (hamstring autograft)
Mar 10: L ACL rupture (skiing)
Feb 06: L partial ACL tear (kickboxing)
Dec 03: R bone edema (motorbike)
Jan 01: R patellar chip (motorbike)
May 93: R ACL sprain (hockey)
Ongoing: bilateral PFS and OA

Offline carla05

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Re: Bad calf spasm after ACLr
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 06:12:46 AM »
Hello Snowy,

I have exactly what you are saying. a HUGE haematoma down form my knee through my lower leg all the way to my ankle (and a very stiff ankle).. the pain in my calf feels like i have a bad spasm and it gets ALOT worts when i go from lying or sitting to standing. And my ankle gets stiffer.

Because i used to have a bad limp i developed the spasm in my calf before the surgery.

Now i can actually see my muscle spasming when i stand up.

Tomorrow its 2 weeks since I had my acl surgery.

also i had a femoral block, but i still have the inside of my thigh very sensible and numb is this normal? it feels almost painfull when it gets in contact with my jeans or with the other thigh,,, or even when i put my hand on it.


Now i can partially bear weight with 2 crutches but everytime i put my leg on the floor i can feel my calf spasming and hurs so much!!! 

should i ask for a muscle relaxer??

Offline LAS

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Re: Bad calf spasm after ACLr
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 02:27:03 PM »
You can ask for a muscle relaxer.   I believe you said before you were on pain meds and I would just be careful trying to get around on crutches taking both muscle relaxer and a pain med. Last thing you want to do is fall down.    Wear loose fitting clothes other than jeans.   Something softer like cotton or knit.   It's normal to have sensitivity in the area where the block was performed.  Especially that area cause it is sensitive anyway.   You can do the ankle pumps even when your are just sitting there and right before you get up.  If you have tissue damage or bruising like you have, wet heat is better and if you can sit in a warm bath that may help or even a warm shower will help with spasms.  I had hamstring spasms in my knee after surgery and it was no joke.  It feels like you have a constant Charlie horse in your leg.  Physical therapy did massage for it with ultrasound and that helped as well.   

Hope your feeling better soon and let us know how your are doing.   LAS

Offline carla05

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Re: Bad calf spasm after ACLr
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2014, 02:09:22 AM »
Hello....

A quick update...

The doctor refuse to give me any muscle relaxer.. he said to keep on going with the PT and that since im going to star bearing weight it should get better.. and of course the ultrasound and stretching.

Im also taking Gabapentin for the nerve regeneration since my leg is still very numb in my tigh area and a sleeping pill that helps with the nerves... (thats the main reason why he didnt wanted me to change the pill, i asked to change my sleeping pill for a muscle relaxer and he said that the one im taking is supposed to help with my femoral nerve that he thinks whats touch during the block).

Its been 2 weeks today and im still getting new heamatomas and have a very stiff ankle, and painful calf.

My spasm hurts alot.. more than the knee itself.... Im still on crutches because of my spasm and the pain... (i know a guy that had the same surgery, the same day, with the same doctor, and he is already in 1 crutch)....


a few questions....

my surgery was in my right leg, when will i be able to drive?
wear heels?

also... im able to reach full extensionn while lying doown but i cant do it standing up... is this even possible?  I really try to extend it while im standing and it seems very unlikely.....


thanksssss

Offline Snowy

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Re: Bad calf spasm after ACLr
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2014, 11:07:10 PM »
Be patient - if you can get to full extension when lying down you'll be able to do so standing up in time. It's just a bit tougher. It's actually excellent news that you're already at full extension when lying down.

Check with your doctor about driving - a lot will depend on how quickly you regain leg control and strength. He can let you know when it's safe to do so. You'll want to avoid heels for quite a while; it was about three months post-surgery before I was able to wear mine for work.

I hope the spasms pass soon. It sounds like things are a bit lower in the leg now, so hopefully the haematoma is working its way out. The spasms really are awful, they were one of the worst things about early recovery.
Mar 11: R Biceps femoris tear (skiing)
Jul 10: ACLr (hamstring autograft)
Mar 10: L ACL rupture (skiing)
Feb 06: L partial ACL tear (kickboxing)
Dec 03: R bone edema (motorbike)
Jan 01: R patellar chip (motorbike)
May 93: R ACL sprain (hockey)
Ongoing: bilateral PFS and OA

Offline carla05

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Re: Bad calf spasm after ACLr
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2014, 12:48:09 AM »
hello,

I just got rid of one crutch!! so im oficially walking on one crutch... the problem is still my spasm.. my knee feels fine.. but everytime i take a step with my leg my spasm burns!! i hope when my hematoma wears out i can feel a little better.

TThe dr. said i cant drive until im 6 week post op.. im just 2 weeks out.. but im desperate since i was injured for 2 months and was not able to drive (right leg) before my surgery...

I really hope it doesnt have to be that long to wear heels 3 months seems so far away... im 25 years old.. jewish and the holidays are coming up.. i need to look good ;)

also i have a few weddings that i will like to have my heels on haha...

I know my spasms is muscular since it hurts with the stetching and you can actually feel the bump.. so i need to work on that...


my knee is healing nicely my hamstring and quadriceps feels like i recieve a very hard kick while i was out during surgery.

I lost almos 4cm of muscle mass on my quad muscle so i have a lot of work to do :)


Offline Snowy

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Re: Bad calf spasm after ACLr
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2014, 06:31:00 AM »
I feel your pain - I so wanted to be comfortable in heels before I went back to work, but I had to start out in flats. I never wear flat shoes at work, so it felt totally inappropriate - like I was wearing pyjamas! It was so uncomfortable that I wasn't tempted to push it and wear them before I was ready, though.

Congrats on going down to one crutch. Fingers crossed the spasm will pass soon...
Mar 11: R Biceps femoris tear (skiing)
Jul 10: ACLr (hamstring autograft)
Mar 10: L ACL rupture (skiing)
Feb 06: L partial ACL tear (kickboxing)
Dec 03: R bone edema (motorbike)
Jan 01: R patellar chip (motorbike)
May 93: R ACL sprain (hockey)
Ongoing: bilateral PFS and OA

Offline carla05

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Re: Bad calf spasm after ACLr
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2014, 11:35:37 PM »
Hi snowy,

I've been having a hard time with my calf spasm.. is very hard to walk even with my crutch... the first 10 to 20 steps are the hardest!.. its so painful, and i dont see myself getting better anytime soon.

I recently took pics of my PT and saw that i lost all my calf muscle and my quad muscle as well.. so i have so much work to do :/

Im still getting NEW bruises after +2 weeks... I dont know when it will stop....

yesterday i had a long day with PT, then work, then i had a dinner party... i came home around 11 30pm... my knee was so swollen i couldnt find my pattella... today im so tired... im still very swollen from yesterday... im just icing it and applying heat on my calf.. of course elevating as high as posible...

ill keep you updated :) thanks

Offline carla05

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Re: Bad calf spasm after ACLr
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2014, 12:19:58 AM »
Hello,

another quick update...

Im back on 2 crutches and almost non weight bearing...im able to weight bear as tolareble. This all because of my calf.

As i told u before my calf is full of bruises that hurt and has a bad spasm and all convined is very hurtfull!!! i can barely stand on it. so the OS is giving me a week of rest again so it can heal properly with muscles relaxers, conservative pt and a cream ffor my bruising..

I just feel hopeless... im getting depress. im 25 years old.. its been almost 3 weeks.. i need to walk, drive.. get out of the house. i hate the crutches... my elbows are starting to hurt.


its tough.

Offline kcknee

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Re: Bad calf spasm after ACLr
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2014, 12:44:12 AM »
Carla-

I got compartment syndrome in my calf about 3 weeks after I had my ACL replaced. You may want to bring the possibility up to your OS. I had a long diary on KG, but deleted it last Spring out of frustration.my compartment syndrome was not released correctly for years and I am still suffering the after effects.

If you click on my name and then click on "show posts", my old diary posts are thankfully still there. Start at the end, page 18 half way in the page when the title of the post is something like swelling at 3 weeks post surgery. If you read only  the posts with that same title from page 18 forward,  you can read the symptoms I had and see if they are similar to what you are going through.

If it seems a possibility,I can share things I have learned the hard way about compartment syndrome.

Kristin
12/31/08 - Skiing injury L knee
6/1/09 - ACL stump removed from joint
8/31/09 - ACLr - Hamstring Graft
12/21/09 - Ant Fasciotomy 
8/26/10 - Anterior Interval Release
12/6/10, 5/5/11, 12/22/11 - Fasciotomy
12/7/12 - Nerve Decompression
6/3/13(m), 7/29/13(l), 12/13/13(m & foot) 2/3/14(l) Fasciotomy

Offline carla05

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Re: Bad calf spasm after ACLr
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2014, 01:24:44 AM »
Hi Kristin,

Thanks for your quick answer, I look at your past posts but it only goes up to 18 pages. and the only "almost" related post is "problem with recovery- amost 3 weeks" but only talks about a fever and problems with your pt.


If this muscle relaxer dosnt work... ill him about compartment syndrome thanks for the info.

Offline carla05

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Re: Bad calf spasm after ACLr
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2014, 03:13:58 AM »
Hello all,

Its been like a month or maybe more since I first wrote something about my ACL surgery and my bad calf muscle spam.

I've been doing pretty good, rehab everyday a week, and 2 weeks ago i started the gym. I feel like my knee is getting stronger everyday, and im almost in no pain. For the first time in many years im able to do a 90 squad, and just a few days ago i starting going down the stairs one leg at a time which is greatttt for me! haha...

My calf muscle and my quad have a big atrophy still. My quad is better tho. My calf is getting stonger but its still hard because of the weakness i still feel my spasm, and the PT told me she thought that during the surgery something was pulled and a few fibers were broken which explains my big bruises and my horrible pain for the first 6 weeks... since im getting stronger im able to do calf raises (they still hurt haha), and even walk with no pain.. 

The calf massages are HORRIBLE haha they hurt so muchh, but i cant complain, im able to walk, and do things i couldnt without crying for pain meds.

My knee still feels stiff, and i still have a (barely noticable) limp, i can now extended full while standing up, altho it feels wierd and mu quad is still very weak so its hard. I have full ROM in extention and almost full on flexion (im missing like 7)

i was in crutches for 7 weeks then had surgery.. and then my doctor had a nonbareing weight for 2 weeks policy and then because I couldnt stand my calf pain, i had to stay on crutches for another week. after that and alot of pain meds and muscle relaxers (I thank G-d for the Muscle relaxers), im walking with no help, riding bikes, back at my crossfit gym and doing better.

for now, i need to continue my PT, and keep STRETCHING my calf !!!!