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"Charlie horse" or muscle spasms

Started by SandySavy06 on 04/30/2010 2:50pm

About 1 year ago these painful muscle spasms started in my hamstrings amd feet. My toes will just lock up out of nowwhere. especially in my hamstrings.it keeps getting worse and I am afraid it will lock up and stay there!! the docs cant really explain it by I know it has to be because of my back because it is only in my legs.
Anyone ever hear of this??

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5 Responses


Hi sandy, my toes don't lock up but it feels like my calves do. Very tight, painful, even to the point where I have to walk on my toes on my left foot. Mine has to do with my root nerve compression at l5/s1 and I'm fairly certain u are correct in ur assumption of ur leg issues stemming from ur back. Have u had this checked out?


Well my pain management doctor told me it is because the nerves are being stretched in my back.
I have spondylolisthesis 12mm. a 1 inch tear and 2 bulges.
When I mentioned it to the orthopedic surgeon he looked confused.
I notice that you wish you didn't have surgery.
I really don't want to have another fusion but my pain doctor thinks I should really consider it because he doesn't think I should be taking pain pills.
What did you have done on your back?? and are you wishing that you never had it??



I know exactly what you are going through. I had a fusion on my l5/s1 done in November of 09 and then I had another surgery done about 7 weeks ago because of complications. They had to put in more screws and scrape some excess bone out because I "overfused". However I woke up in severe pain. My legs were on fire, and hurt so bad. Within about 3 or 4 weeks, I started having the cramps or charlie horse's that you are talking about on top of the leg pain I was already suffering through.

I actually just went to my spine doc about them about 2 weeks ago. He told me that the cramping and the leg pain I am having (I am having severe sciatic pain in my right leg especially sitting down too) sounds like spinal stenosis. I think the funny part is that I am only 30 and definately not over the age of 50. Also don't you think they would have seen the spinal stenosis with the previous 2 surgeries that I have had in the last 5 months, and why would it be worse after my 2nd surgery.

I do go back to him to confirm the results from my MRI this coming up week, and I can let you know what he says. I don't know if you are having leg problems or other back issues in regards to the cramps? ??? I heard also with charlie horses, that people might have a potassium deficit, or not drinking enough water. So before I went to my back specialist...I only dramk water for about 2 weeks and cut out all caffeine, and also ate lots of bananas... But it did not help me since it was an issue stemming from back problems.


Hi sandy, I too have a grade 2 spondylolisthesis which became neurologically symptommatic for me. I had a posterior fusion with instrumentation at l5/s1 and laminectomy, foraminotomy, facectomy, complete removal of pars defect, and I don't remember what else lol. I had an "open back" surgery, a 6 inch incision, and I have new pains I never had b4 surgery that makes me wish I may have waited a bit longer instead. I was fine up until 4 weeks post-op, then this new debilitating pain came on of which decided to stay lol. I have my 13 week op appt on May 21st of which I will be addressing my concerns AGAIN with my surgeon. I had addressed them at my 7 week post op appt as well. This is my first spine surgery and thus did not know what to expect after surgery or what's normal to feel vs what isn't. I really hope you get feeling better, take care. *hugs*


Oh I forgot to add the when I first went to my chiro about my 24/7 bilateral charlie horses along with my over night weak walk, he told me the calf muscle charlie horses were due to nerve damage and sure enough like six months after becomming symptommatic, I had a emg study done which found acute and choronic l5/s1 radiculopathy with motor root nerve damage in my anterior tibilas and gastro muscles.