Every major surgical procedure is followed by weeks of care and rehabilitation. During the initial period of recovery, the major focus is on the management of post-operative symptoms. This holds for knee replacement surgery as well. Once you are done with the procedure, it is quite natural to experience post-operative pain and swelling. The former may be experienced occasionally, for several weeks, whereas the latter may last for 2 to 3 weeks at a stretch. Over the years, we have seen tremendous advancements in pain management techniques with the use of regional nerve blocks, spinal blocks, and various other pain control methods. In this blog, we have listed some effective options for the management of post-operative pain associated with knee replacement, with the help of experts specializing in total knee replacement surgery in Mumbai.
- Intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) – This involves the use of a computerized pump that helps to release small amounts of pain medicine intravenously into your arm. You can activate the pump by simply pushing a button and no needles are injected into your muscles. PCA offers stable pain relief while giving control to your hands. The pump releases only a specific amount of medication, despite how many times you press the button, thereby negating the risk of you overdosing yourself by mistake. Experts specializing in knee replacement surgery in Pune suggest that patients should use the pump by themselves and not allow anyone to press the button for them.
- Patient-controlled epidural analgesia – Epidural anaesthesia is commonly used to control pain during childbirth. It involves the use of a PCA pump for administering pain control medicine into the body via the epidural catheter, which is placed inside the back in the epidural space. All your pain medications will be given via the epidural catheter, during and after your surgery. In case you require more pain medication, all you need to do is press the PCA button. Studies have shown that epidural analgesia is much more effective in alleviating pain, as compared to intravenous medication. Patients receiving epidural analgesia usually experience less pain when they breathe, cough, and walk. The time taken for convalescence is also shorter. It is pertinent to note that an epidural analgesia is a good option for people suffering from heart or lung disease, as this helps to alleviate the risks of serious complications like heart attack and pneumonia.
- Nerve blocks – Nerve block is given right after the surgery to control immense pain. Unlike other pain control options that work on your body as a whole, nerve blocks work on a specific area of your body, such as your arms or legs. In case you need pain control for a longer period of time, a catheter similar to an epidural catheter will be used. Nerve block allows the amount of opioid to be reduced significantly, thereby offering a much safer option with minimal side effects. The doctors may even use it as the primary anaesthetic during your surgery. This helps to bring down the risks of nausea and vomiting.
- Oral pain medication – As the name suggests, these are taken orally whenever you experience any pain. Your doctor will prescribe a particular dosage depending upon your specific needs. Make sure that you do not take the medicine beyond the recommended dose. Also, do not wait for your pain to become worse and take your meds as soon as you feel any kind of discomfort.
Apart from taking these, you can also try implementing some healthy changes in your daily routine that will help to lower the pain and other complications.