Multimodal Pain Management after Knee or Hip Replacement Surgery

The main fear of patients requiring total or partial knee replacement is the amount of expected pain after surgery.

Dr. Likover’s goal is for a knee or hip replacement patient to have as little pain as possible after surgery so that you can get back to doing the things you love to do as soon as possible.

What Is Multimodal Pain Management?

At Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital and Inov8 outpatient center the anesthesia service and Dr. Likover use multimodal pain management in all cases of total knee replacement, partial knee replacement, and hip replacement.

Multimodal means a combination of drugs and techniques are used to minimize the amount of pain after surgery. Before surgery, the patient is given oral medications: gabapentin, Celebrex, and Tylenol. The patient is given decadron (cortisone) IV.

Hip Surgery Pain Management

Total hip replacement patients are given a peripheral nerve block.

Knee Replacement Pain Management

Total and partial knee replacement patients are given a nerve block to the adductor nerve and geniculate nerves that go to the knee. These two pain blocks prevent pain impulses from getting to the brain.

RECK Injections & Nerve Blocks

Knee replacement patients are also given an injection of RECK (an abbreviation for a combination of ropivacaine, epinephrine, clonidine, and ketoprofen)or EXPAREL which is a long acting novocaine directly into the soft tissues on the side, front, and back of the knee.

Patients are now waking up with almost zero pain in their knees. Before these advances, patients woke up from surgery screaming and stayed in the hospital three to five days due to pain.

Partial knee replacement patients are given a nerve block. The long-acting RECK or EXPAREL injection works amazingly well in reducing the pain of partial knee replacement.

Because of the pain reduction ability of this combination of drugs ,knee replacement and hip replacement is an outpatient surgery.

Scopolamine Patch for Postoperative Nausea

Female patients who are at higher risk for postoperative nausea from any of these surgeries are given a scopolamine patch to place behind their ear.

Pain Management Reduces Postoperative Hospitalization Time

The bottom-line concept is that the knee is made almost totally numb. By combining all these drugs that affect various aspects of the pain loop in the nervous system, pain after surgery is greatly reduced.

The brain is being fooled into not knowing a part of the body had surgery. Medicare has now mandated that total knee and hip replacement be done as an outpatient surgery.

Multimodal Pain Management Minimizes Pain After Surgery

These are the latest techniques for pain management in knee and hip replacement patients. By the use of these multimodal pain management techniques, Dr. Likover and the anesthesia doctors are reducing the pain of knee and hip replacement surgeries to a minimum.

The patients that have undergone this type of pain reduction are most pleased by the fact that their joint replacement was not a horrible experience, and they have found that the overall pain after surgery is greatly reduced over the first six weeks after surgery.

Contact Dr. Likover

If you have further questions, Dr. Likover will be pleased to answer them.