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Calf / leg fasciculations 1 and a half years on from Microdiscectomy...

Hi all, first post on this forum! A bit of history...

- January 2015: Injured playing rugby. Conservative treatment failed

- February 2016: Left-sided Microdiscectomy L5-S1. Return to full physical activity.

- March 2018: Major disc blowout (cause unknown) L5-S1 with foot drop and numbness in calf and foot

- May 2018: Redo Left-sided Microdiscectomy L5-S1

The second operation was a success after the first one failed after a year - I've returned to contact sports (football, not rugby!) after a lengthy physical recovery programm and I'm generally fit and active.

However, more recently, I've been having constant fasciculations (muscle twitching) in my left calf which sometimes spreads up to my hamstrings. I can be sat at work, or watching TV and I can physically see my calf moving under the skin! (which is quite strange, but strangely hypnotic!) I'm a positive person and I've simply ignored them for a while - my attitude is, that they are definitely preferable to weakness or the agony I was in before my redo surgery! 

Unfortunately though, they are getting to the point where they are affecting my everyday life. I'm struggling to concentrate in work meetings, and there's no way I can go to the cinema with my wife and sit through a film. I'm finding it difficult to sleep, because my calf is twitching terribly.

I'm confused as to why this is happening, almost a year and a half on! I've been back to my surgeon, who performed an MRI - which was all clear and showed no recurrence of the herniation.

Could this be a symptom of permanent nerve damage? Will I have to live with this forever, or will it fade gradually? Or could it potentially be nerve regeneration, which is causing the muscle fibres to 'fire'? (I appreciate that it's well over a year since my surgery, so this theory is unlikely)...

 Anyone with any insight on this would be great - or just to hear from someone with similar symptoms to reassure me that I'm not the only one!

Thanks in advance,

Ben


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Comments

  • Welcome bencymraeg we’re glad you’re here!

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    You can also find information about muscle spasms on [SELECT ONE: Spine-health.comArthritis-health.comSports-health.comPain-health.com]. All articles are authored by expert health professionals and reviewed by our experienced editorial team. This rigorous editorial process is modeled after that of a medical journal and ensures all of the articles are accurate, comprehensive, and unbiased. I hope you find this information helpful.

    You are not the only one that has these spasms happen, I get them quite often, doctors have not given me a clear explanation of the cause though.

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.

    Chip 

    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • charryccharry Posts: 147
    edited 09/17/2019 - 2:48 AM

    I had to get an EMG test for any numbness in the leg.

    It sounds weird but I also have to wear a  bios silicone toe spacer between the large toe and second toe and better relief but of course, may not even relate to your issues because I have both issues with fasciculations and it eases the calf muscle strain up depending on the position of my back. I hope it gets better for you. Charry

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  • Thank you both for your replies, I will definitely give the toe spacer a try - it's something I've never heard of before!

  • Hi Bencymraeg,

    I have very similar issues to those you've mentioned.

    I had a microdiscectomy L4/5 on 17 May 2019, which went well... about 6 weeks post-op I was feeling great, and its unfortunately gone downhill from then. I havent re-herniated, but am having constant twitching in my calves, sometimes in my quads/hamstrings. I have been re-scanned. Every so often I feel really tender in the lower half of my body. 

    My heels and lower legs are achy, and if I stand or walk for a 10/15 min or more I get very achy. 

    I had a caudal epidural last week (on 21 Nov 2019), and I know it can take a while to get some result, but no change so far.

    How are you doing now? 

  • Hi Bencymraeg,

    I have very similar issues to those you've mentioned.

    I've always been super active, I've run marathons, done tri-athlons, tough mudders etc. 

    I had a microdiscectomy L4/5 on 17 May 2019, which went well... about 6 weeks post-op I was feeling great, and its unfortunately gone downhill from then. I havent re-herniated, but am having constant twitching in my calves, sometimes in my quads/hamstrings. I have been re-scanned. Every so often I feel really tender in the lower half of my body. 

    My heels and lower legs are achy, and if I stand or walk for a 10/15 min or more I get very achy. 

    I had a caudal epidural last week (on 21 Nov 2019), and I know it can take a while to get some result, but no change so far.

    I've got a follow up to see my consultant in 3 weeks...

    How are you doing now? 

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  • Apologies to revive my old thread!

    It’s now 9 months since my original post. Fasciculations have gotten worse if anything. Had another MRI which couldn’t see anything in particular.

    It’s a strange one, but it only affects my quality of life when I’m thinking about it! I’m still active (cycling, walking etc) so it’s a damn sight better than before my surgery. It looks like corn popping under the surface of my skin... exercise makes it worse.

    The doctor believes it’s as a result of nerve damage sustained during the ‘major’ blowout - I had foot drop and numbness - so I guess I’ll have to just take their word for it, given the clean MRI! Perhaps it’s just the muscles ‘waking up’... although it has been a long time coming if so!

    Happy to reply to any more questions you may have - and if you have any potential solutions or ideas as to what is causing this, please feel free to shout up!

    Ben

  • I find certain positions make the tingling worse like overdoing it and laying on my back. I do toe stretches and calf stretches gently and find it helps me. Rolling to the one side helps me. I hope it gets better for you.

  • Thanks Cherry. I must admit I don’t get the tingling, but I do have quite bad twitches and occasional cramps, particularly when I point my toe downwards and ‘overstretch’.

  • Well I found out that a silicone Bios toe spacer helped me and found out I also had small stress fracture so had xray and bone scan and also ultrasound of that leg to rule out anything.  

    But mine started with the herniated disc and just steroid injection may have helped me and muscle relaxant helped but you can't drive or work taking muscle relaxants. Warm heat on the leg calf for 15 minutes soothing. I was going to try some kind of bioflex light laser but physio closed during covid shutdowns. I hope you get some help you need. Char

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