Pain relief after knee replacement surgery

Traditionally pain relief after knee replacement surgery has been opiate (morphine) based delivered intravenously. This has often resulted in severe nausea for the patient and this has subsequently slowed down the patients rehabilitation.

For the past few years Mr Shepard has been injecting a large volume of local anaesthetic and anti-inflammatory drugs around the knee at the time of surgery and in addition inserting a very fine catheter into the knee so that a further infusion of the drugs can be given the following day.

The effects have been striking with most patients able to flex the knee, powerfully straight leg raise and walk on the day of surgery with little pain. Surprisingly for many patients the effect persists even after the local anaesthetic would have worn off.

Most patients are now going home on simple painkillers on the second day post-op.

“I was amazed at how little pain I had after my knee replacement! I went home the day after surgery and never had to take anything stronger than paracetamol and brufen. Now (six weeks after surgery) I am walking normally again.” 
Mr FB Total Knee Replacement, October 2012

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