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Leg pain after heart bypass
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Leg pain after heart bypass

My husband had quintuple heart bypass surgery one year ago today. He is experiencing increasing amount of pain in his left leg where a vein was removed. He describes it as a squeezing pain below the knee; like his leg will be squeezed in half at times. Doctors don't seem to be able to find the cause, indicating that it may be nerve damage. Pain management medications don't always seem to ease the pain either. Anyone else experiencing this or does anyone have any insight?
Thanks!
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25 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
Did anyone respond to your question about leg pain after heart surgery?  My mom is going through the same thing and I'm trying to find some answers.  Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
My mom is experiencing the same thing after open heart surgery.  She has seen five doctors and they all say she has a pinched nerve in her back that is causing the pain.  Mind you,  she never had this pain before the open heart surgery, but she has the same back that she had prior to the surgery.  They all want to do surgery,, but she is 78 years old ad a diabetic.  I am not so sure that the back is the culprit.

Does anyone have a suggestion?
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Avatar_n_tn
I had triple bypass 2 1/2 years ago..my leg hurts sometimes so bad it awakens me from my sleep.  My PCP says it is arthiritis....it is just below and behind the knee where I had veins removed.....I truly believe it is nerve damage ....
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Avatar_f_tn
I had open heart surgery 1 1/2 years ago. I have leg and foot pain. From the middle of my foot to my heel. I wakes me up at night. I can't put weight on heel. I limp when I walk. No one can tell me why. Yes it is the foot and leg that they took the veins from also. If anyone knows what I can do for it please tell me.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had a double bypass 1 yr ago and they cut both my legs. My doctor put me on Lyrica 100mg 3x aday. It stops the burning and helps the pain. I can sleep at night. It does make me a little luppie at times but its better than the pain.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had a quid three years ago and I am experiencing a bad burning on the side of my left knee. It awakens me from a sound sleep and I have a hard time walking or standing still for a long period of time without it burning. I guess it is nerve damage. I have been told that it happens when they pull the vein out like they do. I sure paid enough for the surgery, looks like they could have been somewhat more carefull
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Avatar_m_tn
Re having leg and foot pain after hear transplant
Yes, I am exercising and by lower legs and feet are still very sore
I has been about 4 years after I had my heart transplant
I will keep exercising and am hoping it diminishes and at the best I hope is goes away but this is probably not going to happen
I told my doctor's about this and they don't do anything
It is frustrating
I'm wondering in anyone else is having problems like this and
more importantly what they recommend doing about it
Send me all your comments
Thank You
Terry Sanchez
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976897_tn?1379171202
Did you have veins harvested from the leg in question?
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Avatar_f_tn
Im 76 and have a similar problem with the leg they took the vein from and it's been 6 years since my triple bypass.  The heart doctor just said my circulation was less than it should be in my legs but offered no solution or medication for the pain.  I think the pain comes from my lower back. I never had back problems or leg pain before this surgery.   I did find that a muscle relaxant like valium worked to stop the nerve pain at night and allowed me to sleep.  But like anything else simple that works, after 9 months my primary doctor refused to refill my prescription.  

I only took one-half of a 5 mg tablet a night so I don't know why he kept trying to prescribe meds that were stronger and had bad side effects but he did and I refuse to take a med that once I start it I can't stop taking it. Now I just live with the pain. If you find a doctor that will treat your pain you will be very lucky and very blessed.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm suffering pain in both my legs & feet right now, not just the leg they took the veins from.  I had a triple bypass six months ago.  I'm type 11 diabetic.  I have since developed diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) in the soles of my feet.  I also have horrendous stabbing pain in my feet & legs.  I take morphine and Gabapentin (similar to Lyrica) but nothing relieves the pain.  I'm on a quest to find the cause of the pain ... where it be nerve damage (which is my guess) or anything else.

If anyone knows the cause can you please post here?  Thanks ... from all of us.
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Avatar_n_tn
Some doctors don't know how to diagnose some things so they blame it on back problems or .... ?  Keep searching for a cause.  It could be nerve damage.
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Avatar_n_tn
Have you tried Lyrica or Gabapentin? They are good meds to take for the pain of nerve damage.  I'm type 2 diabetic and after a triple bypass I developed diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage on the soles of my feet, then shooting pains in both my feet & legs.  Gabapentin helps somewhat but the dosage needs to be increased.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello
My dad just had a triple bypass and is suffering from the same excrutiating pain at the area you have described. He had to go to the ER and they thought it was a blod clot, they did an ultrasound and did not find anything, Thank God! but, the pain still there. They gave him meds for pain, told him to elevate, walk and ice it. None of it seems to be helping.
Were you able to find out why this happens?
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Avatar_f_tn
I had bypass in 2010 they took veins from both legs from ankle to groin on left leg and from ankle to knee on right leg, I get most of the leg pain at night it wakes me up several times a night, have to massage them or walk, then can go back to sleep,But  this happens several times a night, so never get a night that I can sleep without pain,

Also they start hurting if I sit to long. I don't want to take pain medication every night as it looks like this is a permanent thing.Does anyone have any suggestions?

.
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Avatar_f_tn
I to have had a quadruple Bypass a year ago and have suffered with leg pain where the veins had been used . It is the most horrible pains and the strongest of pain killers do not work at times.My legs swell also . I cannot stand my husband rubbing them im in tears. This is so hard to try and get through I wish at times That I had no legs :(
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Avatar_m_tn
I had a triple bypass 3 years ago and was cut from ankle to groin on both legs. Nobody I have seen in the medical profession will confirm it is nerve damage caused through the harvesting of the veins, because as soon as they do, I would probably have a case to sue them. The pain is excrutiating at times and I've been given many different pain killers. But of course, they only hide the pain and don't get rid of it. None of the medication I have been given has worked so I'm having to just live with it.
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Avatar_m_tn
My Husband is 45 and 2 years ago he had a triple bypass and is experiencing the same as you as of now he is scheduled to see a vascular doctor because he has taken Gabapentin at a high dose and it has done nothing for him ; his pain has become so intense it has come to the point that he will have to leave his job because of the type of work he does if nothing can be done for him; and  his dr. told him too that if the nerve hasn't healed by now it will never heal ( that it is an angry nerve)
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Avatar_m_tn
Believe it or not.. 2-3 tablespoons of Frenches yellow mustard will stop the cramps in 60 seconds!  It contains magnesium and is like a miracle!  I had triple bypass 4 yrs ago and started having leg cramps in the leg where they removed my vein.  No meds helped but now I keep pkgs of mustard from fast food restaurants in my purse at all times.  It works!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
must it be a  a strong or a mild  mustard, my husband is having the same pains  after a quad by pass and we don't know what to do, thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
on june 20 2014 i had 5 bypass and 1 graft they took the vein out of my right leg and i have had 5 knee surgery i have had wires in my chest but the doctor didn,t tell me that he was going to put wires in me he had to go back in and take them out so that 2 surgery i have had on my chest in a year i am 56 years old i still have trouble with my leg and my chest at times i also have  heart failure i am disable and don,t sleep anymore i also have a abdominal aortic aneurysm 3.6 ceometers so i live day to day please pray for me
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Avatar_m_tn
WORRIED UNTIL I READ THIS DISCUSSION!

Was thinking of going to casualty with the suspected equivalent of deep vein thrombosis!  However my main vein in the affected left leg was removed for quad bypass operation!

Here's the full story - it might provide some suggested answers to other questions raised in this discussion.

Arrived here after numerous Google searches associated with recent onset of worsening cramps in leg from which vein was removed nearly two years ago for quad bypass operation.

Feared it could be something like threatening like deep vein thrombosis and was thinking of going to hospital casualty!

Less dramatic approach was to think it was associated with muscle strain following gym session  as I had done leg lift 10 x 80 plus 10 x 90 and 10 x 100 kilograms but I have being doing these numbers and figures regularly without previous problem.  
Cramps came on several days after gym session and whilst I had been sitting (with leg extended and supported) watching a long concert on television.

Reassuring posts in this forum suggesting it is a frequent problem but no explanations given.    

Seems logical to me there might be the equivalent of traffic problems after removing a motorway (the main vein) but why should this be OK immediately after the closure?
Hmmm maybe need to talk to someone about whether to reduce beta blocker dose of 2.5 mg daily as resting pulse rate is 59 bpm and even 15 minutes on gym bike and then rowing machine did not increase rate much over 100 bpm and maximum was 110 after leg lifts.

OTH when I started swimming regularly I was out of breath before one length of crawl and now can do several but then boredom becomes the issue!

So perhaps the problem for myself and others is linked to long term medication?

I am also on STATIN  (simvastin) 20 mg daily.   Initially started on 40 mg several years ago but there seemed to be side effects and Doctor reduced to 20 mg and this resolved things and is achieving good results from cholesterol follow up tests.

Perhaps I should mention I am a 75 year old male from the UK
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for posting the information about you Dad.  It was very helpful to me - especially concerning the fears about the blood clot were unfounded. As a newbie not sure if this thankyou will show beneath your message or underneath my more detailed comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Update:-  Discussed with my family Doctor  ( called a General Practitioner) in UK who was firmly of the view that the symptoms were indicative of muscle injury rather than anything seriously wrong.  
Will arrange an appointment if pain continues
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello,
Early days for me yet because I had the triple heart bypass on Sept 1st 2015.
They took the vein from my left leg from ankle to just above the knee.
It is now Oct 23rd 2015 and although I have been suffering with the because I had an infection and hurt like hell.
The leg now after 3 courses of antibiotics (allergic to penicillin) is doing well but still a little painful and stings a lot.
Since the operation I have had awful lower back pains and upper buttock numbness. This I was told was caused by the operating table and I am wondering of this has anything to do with the leg pains.
When you think about the operation and how major it was there are bound to be pains and some pains some time after too but from what I have read here some of you have had severe pains and I am fortunate enough as not to have had them (YET) but it is early days for me. I have had pains yes from the infection but only for weeks and not years as some of you have.
Also the vein from the leg is the main vein that feeds the leg and foot with blood. When the vein is cut out it is deep and the cut then is stitched in layers from he inside ( I was told it has 4 or 5 layers of dissolving stitches. After the layers of stitches the final layer on the outside is stapled (like mine) or stitched depending what hospital and who does he operation.
My operation was done at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester UK.  
I would like to know where some of you had your operations??
I suppose I was lucky because Glenfield Hospital has some of the best heart surgeons  in the world and one of them is very famous (he did mine).
My heart bypass was an emergency operation and nearly 8 weeks on I am feeling fine although the numbness in base of spine is still there and I struggle to get comfortable in bed and sitting but also seems to be getting better by the day.
For some of you people who are still suffering I think do have a case and do need to do some research into why on earth you are suffering like you are.
I know the chest closure is a 3 to 6 months healing process but I can lay down in bed now and sleep pretty well on my back on on both sides.
As I say it has been 7 weeks for me now and I am not suffering like some of you who have suffered for many years.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had my surgery in May,still have leg throbbing,shooting pains
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