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Anesthesia

Extreme sore muscles after general anesthesia

01/18/2007

Question:

I had an appendectomy 24 hours ago under general anesthesia. When I awoke from surgery, both legs, especially in the quads, were extremely sore to the point that it was hard for me to walk without a good bit of slow "warm up" steps for about an hour. When I got home and over night, the muscles in my entire body, from my calves up to my jaw were extremely tight and achy, as if I had done a massive weight lifting routine. Today, the day after surgery, when I chew food, the first few minutes are painful because of the jaw soreness, and the muscles throughout my body are still extremely sore. They seem to loosen up a bit while moving, but still ache. Any ideas? Should I be worried?

Answer:

It is very likely that the soreness you have experienced is due to the muscle relaxant drug called succinylcholine, or "scoline". In a certain number of cases generalized muscle pain results, which gets better on its own after a few days. For more information please read my previous response to a similar question: SEVERE Muscle and Joint Pain after Surgery

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Response by:

Gareth S Kantor, MD Gareth S Kantor, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University