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Posted in: Spondylolisthesis, Surgery, and Sleep.

Rls in arms and legs at night

Started by feebe333 on 09/25/2015 5:56pm

Hi everyone,

My name is Mary and I am 61. I had a spinal fusion 6 weeks ago along with other procedures. My recovery has been very slow. After being home for 2 days I had a incident where I lost 3 days. I was told I was taken to the hospital again and then transferred to the hospital where I had my surgery. I don't remember any of this.
On week 4 I developed nausea with vomiting 24/7 for over a week. I am still nauseous.
2 weeks ago I started with the rls in my legs and arms. Has anyone else had this and what do you do to get rid of it. It really is very bothersome.
I still can't walk more than a few yards without getting exhausted to the point where I feel I collapse.
Any help would be appreciated.
I feel like a failure when I read all these letters.

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4 Responses


Hi Mary, I have restless leg syndrome and managed to get it quieted down. There were some nights I would kick my legs for hours, things that seem to help include:
massaging legs before bed
Meditation before sleep
A heavy blanket over my feet only
This one sounds crazy but it works, two bars of soap in bed. Can't explain it, didn't believe and got desperate enough to try it.
My leg movement has been reduced from the hundreds down to a dozen times per night. I hope this helps


Mary, I have a couple of thoughts. First, I had an anterior discectomy and fusion (C5-C7) on 9/19/14 (when I was 62), but had no problem with nausea. However, my first thought was that some pain meds have caused me nausea ... What has your doctor said? Second, could the vomiting itself have affected your surgical site? The heaving can put a strain on the neck. Especially so early in your recovery. Third, you have to understand that this was MAJOR surgery and fatigue is normal! Your body is working hard to recover! I was tired for at least 6 months! Lie down when you can and be kind to yourself! But also realize that walking is your best type of exercise. With your doctor's ok, walk as much as you can each day. Even if it is a few yards at a time! With time, you will likely build up your endurance. Fourth, about the rls ...I have been bothered by this recently. Turns out, it was that my usual dose of one of my meds to help me sleep was suddenly too much! We reduced it a little, and I'm feeling much better! Mary, every person recovers at their own pace. Please don't compare your rate of recovery to anyone else, just do your best to follow your doctor's orders, or get a second opinion if you feel you need more/better medical care! Best wishes in your journey to recovery!


Thank you Cindy and Bonnie, for your kind words and thoughts. I am going to try the soap in bed. I know its crazy but a lot of people say it works. I know the meds are what caused my nausea. I found out I am allergic to codeine, and that is what was in the meds. I am lucky to have no pain like other people. I do feel that changing though. Another personal question. How the heck do you keep you house clean when your tired, can't bend, twist, or lift? Just wondering as my house is a total mess. I have 2 dogs and 7 cats and the rugs haven't been vacuumed in in 2 months. lol I have to laugh or I will cry.


Mary, the old saying, I feel your pain is used by people in many applications, but in this context, it is very very true. Dealing with my issues since 1997, I could write a book from the patience standpoint. I find it is much different than from health care pros. Anything that can help with your rls before drugs is heaven sent. However, I have found easy answers are few and far between. I was lucky to have a doctor suffering from cervical pain when I saw him as a sleep disorder specialist. There are drugs used for off label uses. One such drug is klonopin. Not a light weight drug by any means, but it served my rls immediately. Plus, it also helped to overcome the constant waking from pain, several time a night. I would recommend a sleep study and conversation with your doctor to see if this may be of help to you. I have used it for over 15 years, very carefully. Being sensitive to opioids makes a bad situation worse. There are many choices in the category now of which one may be tolerable. The lethargy after surgery must be associated with the pain meds. Perhaps just a lower dose or a cocktail using different opioids can help that to a degree. Your body went through a tremendous shock, so who knows exactly what the cause was. Exercise though excruciating is the best thing yo u can do to help yourself in the long run. As far as feeling like a failure, do you feel like a failure when you catch a cold? None of this is your fault! Somehow you have to find the education to understand what you're up against. It is life changing! I'm a bit older than you, and my advise comes from experiencing virtually all of the modalities the medical industry uses to see if one may be of help to you. I found a site called Care Cure offered to spinal cord patience by Rudgers University. In the pain section, you'll find many different situations and some that parelell what you are going through. What helped me most, was finding stories that helped me wrap my head around what is really going on. The epiphany was the old story about complaining about having no shoes until I met a man who had no feet. I don't mean to be hard on you. To the contrary. Get as educated as possible. The doctors really don't have a handle on spinal pain. It's a process of elimination. And after a slew of tests and procedures, they still only have the latest study that indicates that thus and so may help some pacience. If your waiting for a doctor to tell you they can fix you, find another opinion. You need to be in charge of your care. Support from your family and friends and education may keep you from going through some procedures that are just unnecessary . At our age, we only have one life to live and quality of the time left is precious. I pray you improve from your present state and find a doctor you can really really trust. Smiles and humor can go a long way. We all have our pity parties,and those are healthy to, in moderation. Depression is evil and no help what so ever. Good luck and start the education process. The are no such things as painkillers. Just drugs that let you perceive your pain in a more exceptible manner. Isn't it strange that with all the technology, the medications used to treat chronic pain are the same as those used 3000 years ago? The poppy plant. There's something about that statement that seems ridiculous. Keep the faith! Good luck!