With a targeted treatment plan in place, your patients won’t need to rely on complication-laden, potentially addictive opioids to recovery from painful and traumatic orthopedic surgeries. Alexander Sah, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Sah Orthopaedic Associates in Fremont, Calif., says new pain management protocols are providing longer-term relief for patients before, during and after surgery — including the first few days of recovery when pain is usually at its worst. Here are two key approaches an increasing number of orthopods like Dr. Sah are employing to ensure successful opioid-sparing post-op recoveries for their patients.
• Cryoanalgesia. A simple and intuitive proposition: Freeze targeted nerves for weeks or months to cut off pain signals to the brain while leaving muscles at full strength. Cryo can prepare patients for surgery and keep their pain under control long afterward.
Robert Limoni, MD, an orthopedist at Holy Family Memorial (HFM) Lakeshore Orthopaedics Total Joint Clinic, a partner of The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network in Manitowoc, Wisc., has completed thousands of joint replacements over the last two decades, with a particular focus on optimizing patient outcomes after hip and knee surgeries. Right after cryo became FDA-approved for use prior to knee surgeries, he became one of the first surgeons in the Midwest to employ it.