Pain Management - Joint Replacement
Pain management and joint replacement surgery go hand-in-hand. That's why our Joint Replacement Center has a variety of programs to prevent, treat and manage your pain every step of the process, including before and after your surgery. Your health care team is actively involved in your care and recovery, and strives to teach you and empower you. We are constantly collaborating to ensure you have the best results.
Our comprehensive pain management program includes:
Preemptive Pain Management (Multi-Modal Pain Management)
Research shows that it is more effective to prevent pain before it actually begins, rather than trying to manage the pain once it has become uncomfortable and severe. We use a preventative approach so we can begin pain management prior to your joint replacement surgery. This includes anti-inflammatory medications, non-narcotic pain medications, and narcotic pain medications when appropriate to address the different ways your body will respond to pain. The use of several types of medications to treat different causes of pain at different sites of the body is referred to as multi-modal pain management.
We use different approaches in anesthesia to adapt to the individual needs and safety concerns of each patient. In some cases, this may include alternatives to traditional anesthesia. These options may include regional or spinal anesthesia and peripheral nerve blocks. These advanced techniques are used independently or in some cases in combination to address the specific needs of our patients' clinical circumstances, and are administered by experts in the field of anesthesia. In cases where these alternative techniques are used, the anesthesiologist may be directly involved in the post-operative management of pain as well.
Post-Op Pain Management
After your joint replacement surgery, your body will respond with bruising, swelling and pain at the surgical site, which is all part of the normal recovery process. Our specialists will be by your side to keep you comfortable and reduce your pain. You will receive pain medicine intravenously (through an IV) which will transition to oral pain medications. Anti-nausea medications will be available and used to keep you comfortable. You will be encouraged to take oral medications on a regular basis to maintain a low-level of pain throughout your stay. You will also be instructed to elevate, ice and move your new joint to reduce bruising and swelling.
Rather than wait days after the joint replacement surgery to begin moving again, we believe in beginning rehabilitation immediately, called rapid mobilization. This has been shown to reduce the amount of time patients need to stay in the hospital to recover. It also safely enhances the recovery process by initiating therapy to get your body used to its new joint. Rapid mobilization helps your body return to its normal physiology quicker.
Alternative Pain Therapies
Our joint replacement surgeons collaborate with pain management specialists to ensure your pain is under control and you have a successful rehabilitation. Each patient is unique and responds differently to certain treatments. We work with you to develop a personalized plan, whether that includes prescription medicines, alternative pain therapies or holistic techniques. We support non-traditional pain management techniques and are happy to discuss these with patients as they desire. We also have a dedicated pain management service to address the needs of patients with complex or unusual pain conditions.