What Are Pain Management Options Available For A Total Joint Replacement Patient?
Total joint replacement surgery has become a more prevalent surgery in the United States. Total joint replacement surgery replaces the diseased or painful joint with a healthy prosthetic. This surgery can be completed for both knee and hip joints, and the goal is to relieve pain and help the patient move freely again. Pain management options after a total joint replacement surgery are essential to ensure patients have fewer complications and more satisfaction with the surgery. The following are three pain management options available for a total joint replacement patient.
Take pain medication
After surgery, doctors prescribe certain oral and intravenous medications to help with pain management. These medicines can include acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, opiates, etc. Some pain medications can have side effects or interact with other medications a patient is prescribed. Follow the directions of the prescribing physician and ask any questions before taking the medicine home.
Try physical therapy
Physical therapy is designed to help patients regain range of motion and muscle strength after total joint replacement surgery. After surgery, the orthopedic surgery and physical therapist will generally recommend a patient to exercise for 20-30 minutes, 2-4 times a day. Walking for 30-minute intervals periodically will also be advised, along with specific exercises to help regain mobility. In addition, the physical therapist may also teach the patient how to use assistive devices, walk without pain, and manage other concerns related to living with a joint replacement.
Apply home treatments
Many treatments can be done at home. While at the hospital, a patient will most likely be wearing compression stockings to reduce swelling for at least two weeks afterward. Compression stockings can help lower the risk of blood clots, swelling and provide pain relief. Topical creams and patches applied directly to the knee can also help reduce pain and swelling. Many creams contain natural ingredients such as menthol as pain relief.
Choose the Right Pain Management Options for You
Total joint replacement surgery can provide people with renewed mobility and strength. The goal of pain management is to create the best possible outcome for a total joint replacement patient. Consult the physician to discuss the best pain management options for a successful surgery.