Restless Legs And Surgery, I have Experienced something I would like to share with all. I recently had a minor gynaecology op and had a

spinal anaesthetic leaving my legs dead from the waist down. The op went well but in the recovery room I had a severe attack of RLS in both legs !! my legs were dead but felt the need to move them but just couldn't it was awful. How about that? It lasted for about half an hour and when back on the ward I was given a co codamol and as my legs gradually came back to life the RLS eased. Has anyone else experienced this ?

26 Replies

  • I have necer had that. I cannot imagine anything worse. However a few times I went for acupuncture that is specifically for RlS and instead of making it better it gave me a secere attack. I finally told the therapist to rt the dam needkes out as it was driving me crazy. Yet supposedly acupuncture s supposed to help so this is some crazy syndrome.

  • jubilee

    It's fairly common for people to experience RLS after surgery.

    If you do a Google search you'll find all sorts of people commenting on post surgery occurrences of RLS.

    Try different search combinations to find an assortment of comments from people in similar situations.

    ie: "Restless legs syndrome after surgery"

    "rls post surgery"


    Here's one study in regard to RLS increasing after gastric surgery

  • Hi, so sorry that you had such a horrid experience. I had an emergency caesarian 20 years ago and had a severe RLS episode post surgery. As others have said, this appears to be common amoungst sufferers.

  • Thank You all for your comments, it was such a surprise and shock as I couldn't understand why when I was dead from the waist down and yet could feel the creepy crawlies in my legs but couldn't do anything about it, but hey ho! keep going plod on Regards to All

  • My cousin had a bad attack during dental surgery, they had to call her partner in as they didnt know what the heck was going on with her, trying to operate on her jaw and her legs were going crazy, and she had told them about the RLS, but i dont think they understood how bad it can be

  • I have often wondered if the anaesthetic i had when i was 7 for my tonsils out, started it all off!

  • As is often said dragon there is not a lot of research done

  • I do know my RLS is inherited, and a trauma can seem to trigger it off. I had many operations when i was a child, but didnt start getting any RLS symptoms until i was in my early teens. Now i am older its severe.

  • Elisse, I know that rls is bothersome. This is the first time

    that I read that you said it's severe... Are you holding up okay?

    Did it get worse as of late?

  • Hi Yikes, it got worse as i got older, a year after i retired, thats when it hit hard. Then the trial and error of finding that med that will work and i could tolerate started. I went 14 months without meds, as i couldnt find anything i could tolerate, i am sensitive to the meds. That was a nightmare those months without meds as we all know how that is. I now take Pramipexole, a small dose, it just about keeps the RLS at bay. If i try to up the dose, the side effects are tooooo much. I wake a couple of times in the night with breakthrough RLS, but thats better than being awake all night. If i didnt take any meds, i would have RLS 24/7 just like i did those 14 months.

    Thanks for asking... :)

  • Retirement or Golden Years.. Phooey if you are

    having RLS going on..I always think that you of

    all people on this site have your stuff in perfect

    order... You are so helpful to newbies and people

    that feel like they are hanging on the ropes end..

    I sometimes forget that you do suffer.. and manage

    rls along with the rest of us.

    Thanks for everything you do. =)

  • I am just like everyone else on this site. Just trying to survive with living with RLS. Taking the good days and nights along with the bad ones. Doing what everyone else does, pacing the floor when i wake up in the night. Right now i am waiting for my meds to kick in before bed, and my right leg is buzzing...grrrr. Usually once i am stretched out in bed, with the fan blowing, it calms down and the Pramipexole does it job. Until i get those two breakthrough in the night, and then i am up and pacing then back to bed. But i am aware that RLS can change that routine just when it feels like it.

  • Elisse: You seems to have the same nightmare as I. I'm also extremely sensitive to meds and their side effects. I'm suffering 24/7 and it's getting worse for every year. I'm 59 and didn't know how to survive until I got the message that I'll have an spinal morphine pump in october. I do really hope that you'll find a release.

  • I hope it works for you and you get the relief from RLS. Lets us know how it goes for you. I have tried liquid morphine in the past, a really small dose, and it just knocked me out during the day. I cant seem to take the pain meds for that reason. I wish i could...

    Good luck with the pump in October..!

  • I've never tried liquid morphine but I'm on morphine pills and Fentanyl bandage since two years, and yes, they makes me tired, but as I do have an ileo ostomy drugs taken by mouth is not always trustable. With the pump you only need micrograms and the life will be much easier. I hope :-)

  • Elisse, I am sorry to hear your RLS was so bad after you retired. My RLS intensified after I retired. I always say Thank God I retired because I could not function at work. I'm glad your RLS is somewhat better.

  • I have done several surgery back in the 1980 cause to a gastro intestinal inflammation, never could I imagine that to be a reason to my bad sufffering. Very interesting

  • Thank you Swedish for your comment

  • A lot of the time it is found that the anesthesiologist gives an anti nauseas med. Many of the problems after surgery because the wrong kind of anti nausea med is given with the anesthesia. Zofran is the brand name that was used only for chemo patients up until a couple of years ago. Compazine, ( these are all brand names in the US, Phenergan, and Reglan are the worst ones for RLSer's, and that is from lots of experience, and seeing many stories, etc on this. treatment page, talks about RLS, and surgery and any nausea meds, and is worth the look. Most anti nauseants will send us over the edge, literally, explaining why many of us, if we do not know what to tell the anesthesiologist ahead of time which med to use, run into to trouble like paralyzed legs that want to move anyway. I have spinal surgery coming up soon, and Zofran is written in big red letters on my med list. ;)

  • nightdancer

    just to say good luck with your surgery and please let us know how you get and if Zofran did the trick.!

  • I know Zofran will work. I have had 8 surgeries over my lifetime, and the last one was my gall bladder, and the surgeon had RLS, so he knew to use Zofran. so, I know it does work for me, and will be the only one I get with my back surgery. Last steroid shot on Friday, and then se the surgeon Oct. 1st, schedule things, and the go for it. ;) I have had 3 back surgeries and 2 neck surgeries, most with Zofran. Previous surgeries for other things, however, they used Phenergan and I almost lost what was left of my mind at the time. ;) Will keep you posted.

  • go on youtube you'll see a lady in a coma although in a coma her legs going crazy with RLS i was amaze looks like no escape from RLS ,,, my worst fear is braking a leg or arm ggrr dread to think

  • I had a simple colonoscopy. When I was in recovery, the anesthesiologist came out and said my legs would not stay still throughout the procedure. When I arrived home, my RLS also kicked in. I hope there is never a next time, but I will be sure to mention it to the dr.

  • YES, YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES! I had a torn tendon in my ankle repaired last week and as the spinal wore off the RLS started up terribly! The nurses were convinced I needed more pain meds, but what I needed was to move (which I couldn't) and to feel myself massaging my legs (which I also couldn't)! I was in tears! Thankfully, it wore off an hour later, and as much as I liked the fact I didn't have a GA, I'm never going to be able to do that again. It was worse than any attack I'd had in my life. This is why I don't take sleeping tablets - the RLS has to get really bad before it wakes me up to deal with it. I'm a secondary RLS sufferer, so I'm lucky it's mostly over with now till the next time I'm poorly. I'm sorry you had that happen. I hope you're better now.

  • Oooo sounds like torture! Welcome to the forum x

  • It was - I had it terribly for months during my pregnancy and whilst waiting for a cardiac op, but again, it ended shortly after. I can't imagine how you guys put up with this day in and day out! So pleased to have found this forum. Thank you! Xx

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