A Rapid Recovery Program: Early Home and Pain Free
Enhancement of our perioperative pain management protocols has resulted in accelerated rehabilitation. At our facility, the majority of patients undergoing total and partial knee arthroplasty are treated with a single-shot spinal anesthetic consisting of a combination of bupivacaine and duramorph. The bupivacaine affords the immediate perioperative anesthetic while the duramorph results in sustained analgesia for a period of 12 to 24 hours. We use intra-articular injections delivered directly into the soft tissue of the knee. Our current intra-articular injection is 60 mL of 0.5% ropivacaine with 0.5 mg of epinephrine. In patients with a normal renal function, 30 mg of ketorolac is added. The injection is administered throughout all of the soft tissues in and around the knee. Prophylactic antiemetics are administered in the form of dexamethasone, ondansetron, and a scopolamine patch. The use of this perioperative anesthesia provides effective pain relief with no motor blockade. Patients are able to participate in physiotherapy within several hours of the operative procedure, performing active range of motion and ambulating with assistive devices. Patients with no significant cardiovascular history are given celecoxib preoperatively, which is continued for approximately 2 weeks postoperatively. Additionally, all patients are treated with oxycodone, either preoperatively or within 2 hours of arrival to the floor postoperatively. Patients younger than 70 years are given 20 mg of oxycodone while those older than 70 years are given 10 mg of oxycodone. The oxycodone is continued for the first 24 hours of the hospital stay. Patients are then managed with oxycodone and hydrocodone. Length of stay has decreased and currently averages <2 days.
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