Did you know that physicians perform about 600,000 total knee replacement surgeries annually in the U.S.? Remarkably successful, the total knee arthroplasty (TKA) replaces a patient’s knee joint with a prosthesis that acts like the patient’s own knee. The downside? Post-operative pain can be significant. High pain levels post-TKA surgery can complicate healing. Today, there are new treatments pre-surgery that can significantly reduce post-surgical knee replacement pain.
One treatment uses a cold application that freezes the peripheral nerve and helps to block post-surgical pain. A physician performs this treatment in the office without anesthesia.
Pre-surgical peripheral nerve blocks are another way to help with pain after the procedure. Patients who underwent these procedures report reduced use of opioids, decreased pain and shorter hospital stays than those who did not undergo this procedure, according to a study cited by Global News Wire. Additionally, some surgeons use the femoral block; however, this may offer a shorter-term solution to TKA pain management. Because not all surgeons use the same methods to control post-surgical pain, it may be best for you to consult with several physicians to decide which surgeon is right for you.
Today, doctors are hesitant to prescribe opioids for pain control for several reasons. Bowel strictures can occur with the use of opioids. Physicians grow concerned about possible drug dependency when prescribing opioids. Relying on these newer pre-surgical methods of pain control are quickly gaining popularity with patients and physicians.
Before undergoing these pre-surgical treatments, check with your health insurance provider to determine if your health insurer covers your chosen procedure.
With less post-surgical pain, you can more comfortably begin physical therapy. Increased mobilization through physical therapy can offer better outcomes.