Pre-Op Assessment

Well, I had my pre-op assessment for the spinal operation I'll be having a fortnight on Monday to treat the sciatica I've been suffering from since February. I mentioned about suffering from RLS and how I couldn't just stop taking Tramadol because of the effects that would have on my RLS, and the Senior Registered Nurse I was speaking to understand everything perfectly - what a change! He even mentioned that he was surprised I wasn't taking something or other for the RLS (can't remember what it was, can only think of quinine and it can't be that?) I told him I've never sought meds for my RLS as it's not that bad these days, leastways not until I started taking Tramadol for the sciatica. So, hopefully, everything is organised to prevent my legs from going crazy after the op. He told me I couldn't take my Tramadol in, as they'd have to lock it away, but they might well give me Tramadol while I'm there. If not at least they know to give me something that will keep RLS at bay. Thanks for all the advice I've had on here about this. It's been invaluable, as I'd never have known to say anything otherwise. Wish me luck for 14 September!

21 Replies

  • Glad to hear that the nurse knows something about RLS and understands. I hope you said about the anti-nausea meds. They give them to you when they put you out. Look on the treatment page of this website about them, Good luck for the op.

  • Thanks Elisse, I'd forgotten about that. I've printed off the Medical Alert Card in the link so I'll show that to them when I go in. The nurse seemed so knowledgeable though and wrote on my pre-app info sheet that I had RLS so hopefully they'll already be aware.

  • you HAVE to to talk to the anesthesiologist. Request that for pre-op. Can't just hope that the info will get to him. I just had to do my pre-op call 2 days ago. I made SURE, even though, happily, the pre-op nurse knew all about RLS, but she made sure to mark it in RED about the anti nausea meds. We went thru my list of meds, and the ones I can not take are as long as the list of meds I DO take, or longer. She asked at the end if I had any other concerns, I said nooooooooooo"as long as you have the anti nausea meds sorted out, I am not worried about anything else. ;)

  • I hope it all goes well for u take care x

  • Thanks Tracey. It'll just be so nice to be rid of this leg pain and the need to live on painkillers.

  • Wishing you all the best for your op, MumofSam.

    Do remember to keep reminding staff because there are so many changeovers especially as you will more than likely be staying in a few nights. Just a thought, if you did take your Tramadol in, and ask for it to be locked away, if there is any "problem" you can say you have this med locked away in the nurses station or wherever they store patients meds so they can see that you have been prescribed it. Hopefully it will all be written up ready in your hospital notes, but still remind them if there is a problem. ;)


  • Thanks Kaarina. All the medication I take, including Tramadol, is written up in my notes, but if there is a problem I'll certainly tell them what I need.

  • Best of luck with your op. I have suffered from RLS off and on since I was 14. It usually comes in bouts every 2 to 3 months and for the past 4 to 5 years it has very much worsened. I have now been in a severe episode for 5 nights an honestly think I am going nuts from lack of sleep. The first night I only had 1 1/2 hours. I take Valium, showers (6 last night), cups of hot milk and last night I was so desperate I added some brandy. Nothing seems to work. I have been warned not to take L Dopomine. Can anyone help me please???????

  • You need to repost as a new thread so more people will see your request for help. You'll get lots of help here.

  • Thank you jmwe29. Not sure how to do it though but will have a go.

  • It's the orange "Write a post" button in the upper right of the screen.

  • Thank you! Like jmwe29 says, repeat your post as a new thread so people see it and can help. I'm afraid I don't know anything about RLS meds.

  • I`ve had RLS for a few years now and after trying several drugs, I finished up on Gabapentin. This has been good up to now but I`m not sure if it can cause Augmention or similar problems long term.

  • Good luck with your surgery.

  • Thank you!

  • have you read up on the anti nausea meds that they like to slip into your anesthesia/? Compazine, Phenergan and others on the big no no list for RLS. Zofran is the only safe one that can be used of 99.9% of us during surgery or otherwise. have had the same surgery you are having and you do not want your legs kicking during back surgery!! I had one surgeon who learned his lesson during another surgery for non spinal issues, he got kicked in the face! lol Make sure your anesthesiologist is the one who knows this. read up on it on the treatment page.

  • Oh, and I HOPE the other med the pre-op nurse did not say "quinine". Not for RLS, I the US it is to be "used only for treatment of malaria, because of the bad effects on the heart. It is an official FDA warning. Quinine ws used for leg cramps a lot, but in the US, it has been removed from the shelves and no one can prescribe it for you unless you have malaria, because "in RLS the risks definitely outweigh the benefits".

  • Thanks Nightdancer. I've never had a problem before, having had general anaesthetic 3 times previously. Don't know if there's a difference between how they do things here on the UK and with you in the US? my main worry is the withdrawal from Tramadol and the effects this has had on my RLS. However I have made them aware of my RLS and they seemed very knowledgeable, so if anyone gets kicked, more fool them 😁

  • I had sciatica years ago and after trying all sorts of drugs, was eventually cured by a Chiropractor.

  • I think my RLS may have been caused either by major abdominal surgery requiring an epidural, or by some of the pain-killers I had after wards: Oral Morhine, followed by Codeine and then Tramadol. All of these are addictive and have bad withdrawal symptoms. I am recovering from another major abdominal operation requiring an epidural and am at present on Co-codamol and Paracetamol. for about the first couple of weeks I had just 1 Tramadol twice a day and even this caused problems when I stopped. They are effective but I would not advise anyone to take them for long.

  • hope all go well

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