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Post-Operative Care

Post-Operative Pain Relief - The Joint Replacement Center has a highly trained anesthesia team that includes board-certified physicians who provide state-of-the-art anesthesia services. For pain control following knee replacement surgery, patients Joint Replacement Centertypically are administered a femoral nerve block. This regional nerve block controls pain from the thigh to the foot and limits large muscle use in this area until the medication wears off, about 24 hours after surgery. A regional nerve block allows patients to be more comfortable following surgery with a lower narcotic dosage, which reduces nausea and sedation and allows rehabilitation to begin soon after surgery, improving ambulation and decreasing a patient's hospital stay.

The administration of pain medications following knee replacement surgery is tailored to each patient's individual needs. Patients may be prescribed an intravenous patient-controlled analgesic by their surgeon. This allows patients to administer a pre-determined dose of pain medication within set periods during the first day or two following surgery. Oral pain medications may also be prescribed at this point, as patients transition from the Joint Replacement Center to home or a rehabilitation facility. Ice packs may also be used to relieve pain and swelling around the joint.

Post-Operative Therapy - Rehabilitation therapy typically begins the day of surgery. Patients are evaluated as they sit at the edge of the bed, stand beside the bed and participate in exercises designed to increase the strength and range of motion of their knee.Joint Replacement Center

During the day following surgery, patients meet with a physical therapist in the Joint Replacement Center's therapy gym to learn additional exercises and with an occupational therapist to learn strategies for completing activities of daily living.

Patients are encouraged to ask a family member or friend to act as their coach during therapy sessions at the center and at home. To further increase their strength and range of motion, patients may be prescribed outpatient physical therapy after they arrive home.

For more information on rehabilitation, go to Gym-Based Rehabilitation