Post-Operative Pain Management in Orthopaedic Surgery

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Image Credits: Cleveland Clinic 

In some severe cases, it will actually be important to have surgery as a means to correct your underlying ailments. In the orthopaedic field, there are millions of surgeries that are performed. With each surgery, there is a need for post operative care. Termed formally as “Acute Post-Operative Pain Management” strategies, studies have indicated that the pain levels of orthopaedic surgeries are actually on the higher end of the scale. Statistically, on the orthopaedic scale, 86% of patients identify their pain to be on the moderate to extreme scale. 

Patient care is therefore one of the key contributors to the choice of orthopaedic surgeon. The patient needs to feel assured that they will be in good hands. Since surgery carries with it more than just the physical experience, the patients do experience mental stresses as well that can affect their ability to fully heal once the surgery has concluded. Patients fear pain to the point where some will actually delay their surgery until the last minute due to their apprehension, it is therefore important to have an appropriate plan in place that will alleviate the condition when it arises. 

As the field of medicine evolves, postoperative care is becoming a primary area of concern in the orthopaedic field. The key to successfully managing the pain is have a plan that will facilitate the healing process. During the process, key personnel such as the orthopaedic surgeon, nurses and anaesthesiologists will be on hand to facilitate the pain plan that will enhance patient healing and recovery at a much faster pace. 

Surgical care has identified the following as ideal optimization points for a patient: 

  1. Optimizing pain control for the individual patient both during and after surgery.

  2. Ensuring safety both during and after surgery.

  3. Minimizing post surgical side effects.

  4. Maintaining ease of use for staff and patients. The majority of pain management actually takes place at home, post surgery so plans are in place during the hospital visit to ensure that the patients and their givers are well versed with respect to the care plan.

  5. Reducing complications is critical with time. All medical procedures have risks and it will be important to factor in the criteria such as gender and age before the surgery itself is actually attempted.

Establishing a Good Relationship With your Orthopaedic Surgeon

Your orthopaedic surgeon is there to provide you with a service as you traverse your healing journey. A good relationship with your doctor will ensure that the healing process proceeds much faster. With improved confidence in the doctor, and the prescribed plan, patients can actually anticipate what will happen in a more realistic fashion. Appeasing the fears of the patients will ensure a much smoother recovery. With your surgeon, you will identify your ideal plan, and as a result be in a position to ensure that the patient is not in a state where they are resuming activities prior to the stated healing time. 

Patient and Caregiver Education

Knowledge is always power. Since a team of individuals will be the ones who will be treating the patient, it is a good idea for the patient and their caregivers to get to know the nursing staff at their treatment facility. The team will go through the patient's medical history, and collecting help with the healing process. In the instance that the doctor is not immediately available, the nursing staff will be the individuals who will be able to facilitate the healing process. They are the ideal individuals to get to know, as the process unfolds. 

Drug Management 

With orthopaedic surgeries ranking high for pain threshold, ensure that you and your doctor carve out a plan for appropriate therapies such as drugs during your healing process. The anesthetist on your treatment team, is also actively involved in post operative pain management, and will ensure that you are in a comfortable state. When the surgery is  completed, you may have a series of either over the counter drugs such as pain relievers and antibiotics to take in order to ensure that you are controlling post-operative infections and reducing your fever so that you can heal. 

Your health is your wealth, so take the time to ensure that your surgical process is as smooth as possible. Ensure that you are in the process of maximizing your knowledge of what you are to know, and then taking the appropriate action. 

Resource: 

  1. Medscape: https://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/556201

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