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Leg pain, sharp pain in left knee, muscle spasms, numbness. Had appendectomy surgery. Causes for leg pain?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 436 Questions

19 Year Old Male, USA

I would like some help with some minor leg pain I have been having lately. For the past week I have noticed that I get random sharp pains in my left leg (sometimes outer thigh, back of thigh, back of calf, and even foot). Sometimes I can only feel the pain in one location and it usually lasts for a very brief time 5-20 seconds at the most. The pain is worse when sitting for long and I usually get relief when walking around and getting a good stretch.

I have noticed pain in my hip and buttocks so I am thinking it may be Sciatica. However, I am recovering in my 4th week from an Open Appendectomy. I spent a lot of time resting but I made it my priority to get up and walk around my house every hour just to stretch my legs. My leg has no swelling, redness, and there doesn't seem to be heat emitting from it.

As I type this I am getting slight pain on the front of my left knee. It seems the pain randomly changes places in my leg but it always seems to return to the same location at some point. Some times I may get random non-painful spasms in my leg. I just want to get some advice on whether this could be something more serious like a blood clot.

Another reason I am leading towards Sciatica is because a few weeks ago, I noticed that after sitting for more than 30 minutes my left buttock fell asleep. It wasn't painful but it was very annoying and constant. Is it possible I could have pinched a nerve in my back from all of the reclining I have been doing? On my feet a lot for my 4th week after surgery!

I would really appreciate some reassurance in this!
If it helps with the consultation I also get random painless muscle spasms in my leg (thigh, calf usually).

Posted Mon, 23 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Radhika 2 hours later
Thanks for the query.

You have provided me with good information.

Following appendectomy surgery you are having pain and muscle spasm in your leg, calf. Also there is no swelling or redness in your limbs.

There is more a likelihood to have blood clot or thrombosis than Sciatica following surgery.

Following surgery there will be immobilization of your limbs. Even though you made it a point to move around the house and stretch your limbs, there still is a possibility of thrombosis. The symptoms are generally pain, swelling, muscle spasms and redness in the area. But even any one symptom like pain can be seen only in thrombosis to make a diagnosis.

In Sciatica there will be pain, burning sensation, numbness, or tingling radiating from the lower back and upper buttock down the back of the thigh to the back of the leg. Sometimes the pain radiates around the hip or buttock to feel like hip pain.

There might not be a possibility of pinching the nerve just by reclining on the bed or sitting for half an hour in your chair. You can get it examined by a Orthopedician.

You will need to do certain investigation like Doppler ultrasound and D-dimer (It is a blood test that may be used as a screening test to determine if a blood clot exists).

Till then you can do warm compresses, leg compression, and use pain killers like Tablet Tylenol twice a day for 3 days.

It is better to show to your physician at the earliest since Thrombosis can be life threatening.

I hope, this answers your query. Please accept my answer in case you have no follow up queries.


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