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New Non-Pharmaceutical Technique Shows Promise In Controlling Post-Operative Pain

The opioid crisis came about largely because of routine use of opioids for chronic pain conditions. Opioids are used to control post operative (acute) pain as well; and even though short term use of these drugs generally does not lead to addiction, more and more advances are being made to reduce or eliminate their usage save for very rare circumstances.

Here are a couple of examples--

1) There is a product line known as On-Q® can click the link to see specifics about this if you wish.  These products are drug delivery systems that can be used in some types of surgery, such as knee replacements to reduce or eliminate the need for opioids. On-Q® devices can be filled with a local anesthetic. The device has tubing with a catheter like tip that is placed in the operative site, allowing the anesthetic to be delivered directly to the affected area via the On-Q® pump.  These have been around for several years, and the results are dramatic!

2) A new technique devised by Dr. Brian Ilfield was presented at a recent conference, and it demonstrates promise for relief of postoperative pain.  This technique employs electrical stimulation to the affected area.  Dr. Ilfield and his colleagues on unilateral knee arthroplasty patients and the results are promising at this point. You can read about this study and this technique in more detail by clicking here. While there are still many questions to be answered about this procedure, it does once again demonstrate that pharmaceuticals, especially opioids, are not always necessary after surgery!

Sources:;painmedicinenews; wikimedia


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