Non-narcotic pain relief for knee replacement surgery

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Riding a bike is a big deal for Paul Olson.  A knee injury in college nearly crippled him.  After years of pain, Paul decided to undergo knee replacement surgery.

The result? Paul has a new lease on life.

“I’m going to do a century ride, which is a 100-mile ride.  That’s my plan to celebrate,” he said.

What helped Paul recover so quickly with a minimal amount of pain was a surgical technique his physician used along with a pain relief system called ON-Q.

Dr. Presley Swann with IU Health Physicians and Methodist Sports Medicine used a kinematic procedure.

“As surgeons, sometimes we get caught into one size fits all. So with this technique you have to take into consideration each patient, how their natural anatomy was when they were 18 years old and do minimal amounts of bony resection,” Swann said.

The pain relief system Swann ordered for Paul was critical to getting him up and about and reducing his need for heavy painkillers.

“Patients are in a lot of pain,” Swann said. “They don’t want to do their therapy. But we have gotten to a point with ON-Q that knee replacement can be done successfully without a lot of narcotic medication.

The ON-Q relief system is a non-narcotic elastomeric pump that automatically and continuously delivers a regulated flow of local anesthesia to a patient’s surgical site or in close proximity to nerves.  It provides targeted pain relief for up to five days.

Data shows ON-Q patients go home an average  of 1.1 days earlier, report up to 69 percent lower pain scores, are up to three times as likely to report high satisfaction scores and are more likely to experience better pain management with fewer side effects.

You can definitely call Paul a fan.

“I’m extremely happy with the procedure, the process, the rehabilitation, everything,” he said.

“The benefit of this is true pain control, so the patient feels like they are in control of their pain control without having to take narcotic medication," Swann said. "And they are able to ambulate with this pain block."

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