Knee Replacement is done to replace the weight-bearing surfaces of the knee joint to relieve pain and disability in patients suffering from osteoarthritis. Many people across the world go through this painful procedure annually, but most of them are not equipped with the information necessary to make the post-surgery period easier. Postoperative pain may leave some patients initially questioning why they underwent the operation. “All patients undergoing total knee replacement will experience pain; our challenge is to reduce the pain to a satisfactory level in the postoperative period,” Multimodal pain control starts before surgery wherein the patient is administered drugs like iv paracetamol and pregabalin. Pain control works best when started before the procedure as it prevents the beginning of pain sensation from the very start.
Xray showing sever osteoarthritis
Most knee replacements are performed under spinal anaesthesia or combined spinal epidural anaesthesia where the anaesthetic drugs are delivered through a catheter in the spine region to numb both the legs. The catheter is kept inserted in the spine for approximately 18 to 24 hours after the surgery to give additional pain relieving drugs in the post-surgery period. This catheter can be continued for 2 to 3 days to allow controlled delivery of local anaesthetic drug and for continued pain control.
Total Knee Replacement
Along with painkillers, drugs to control nausea and vomiting are also useful to make the patient comfortable in post-operative period. Sometimes the surgeon might also inject a combination of local anesthetic, antibiotic, steroid and opioid painkiller in the joint region for local pain relief (Periarticular Injection)
The right pain control can help:
- you to be more comfortable
- you to get back to your normal routine
- promote healing
Multimodal pain management reduces pain after surgery, reduces the need for opioid painkillers and therefore reduces their side effects. It improves functional recovery with greater patient satisfaction. This also helps you participate to the best of your ability in your physical therapy program so that you have a joint that functions well. Since the surgeon and the anesthesiologist both play a very important role in this plan, discuss with your clinician
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