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Pain Management: Managing Your Pain After a Surgery

Pain management is a critical part of orthopaedic treatment and care. Your 1 Health Medical Centre orthopaedic surgeon will work along with you to design an individualised plan to help you in pain management.

Your plan may involve resting, massaging or ice/heat therapy, prescription pain medication and over-the-counter medication, and other complementary therapies. Physical therapy and other movement therapies may be included after you're done with your surgery. Deciding which pain management techniques to choose depends on factors like:

● Your personal health history

● If and what kind of surgical treatment you'll choose to undergo for the orthopaedic injury or condition that has been causing you pain

● Your prior experience using pain medication and other pain management therapies

Your pain management plan also depends upon where you are in the treatment journey.

For example, the kind of medications you may be prescribed before the surgery could be different from what you'll be prescribed during your hospital stay. Your pain management plan will most likely be changed after you've completed your surgery and have been discharged from the hospital.

A few types of pain medication that you may be given prior, during or after your orthopaedic surgery include:

● Skeletal muscle relaxers

● Over-the-counter pain medications

● Local anaesthetics

● Narcotic pain medications

● Anti-inflammatory, steroid and/or epidural injection (injections into a muscle, or vein near a nerve in what's referred to as a nerve block)

Pain medication may be given:

● Intravenously (IV medication)

● By injection

● By mouth (liquid or pill form)

To get ready for surgery, your orthopaedist may have you take medication or a combination of medications prior to reaching the hospital. This is required to help in minimising your pain during and immediately after your surgery.

Local anaesthesia helps by numbing the area being operated upon. It may be given to you by an injection or administered by an anesthesiologist as a nerve block or epidural injection. Your anesthesiologist may also utilise IV medications during and immediately after your surgery to reduce your pain.

Speak with your orthopaedist before your surgery if you have any questions about your particular surgical and post-surgical pain management plan.

After surgery

Following your surgery, your nurses and orthopaedic surgeon will assess your pain levels. Your specialist will then accordingly adjust your pain medication and therapies. Based on your condition, and if you'll be staying overnight in the hospital, or whether you’ve had an outpatient procedure and will be going home, you may receive medication:

● On demand, with the help of a patient-controlled analgesia device that allows you to control your pain by administering prescription medication through an IV.

● As needed, only when you request it from your orthopaedist

● At regular intervals to prevent an unexpected surge of pain

It's crucial that you take your pain medication as advised. You need to ask for pain medication when pain first starts in order to keep it under control. Don’t hesitate to tell your orthopaedist or doctor if you have persistent pain that just won't go away despite other pain therapies and medications.

After discharge

Your pain likely won't go away immediately after you're done with surgery. Additionally to some lingering pain that you already had from the condition that led to surgery, you'll have some soreness or pain from the actual surgery itself. Your orthopaedist or doctor will design a post-surgical pain management plan to fit your needs. In addition to the pain medication, your post-operative plan to relieve you of pain may include:

● Elevation of the affected area

● Heat or ice therapy

● Massage

● Muscle relaxation techniques

● Bracing or casting

● Physical therapy, whether at an outpatient therapy facility or in-home therapy

● Other movement therapies

Side effects

Pain medications often come along with some side effects such as:

● Drowsiness

● Itching

● Dizziness

● Constipation

● Vomiting and/or Nausea

● Urinary retention (difficulty in passing urine)

It's crucial that you abide by all medication instructions and that you follow the warning to the dot as advised against driving, consuming alcohol or operating machinery.

Your orthopaedist will most likely begin to taper off your narcotic pain medication schedule soon post surgery.

Withdrawal symptoms are rare, but make sure to let your doctor or orthopaedist know if you experiencing symptoms like:

● Insomnia

● Low energy

● Runny nose or watery eyes

● Irritability or agitation

● Muscle aches

● Anxiety

● Abdominal cramping or vomiting, nausea, and/or diarrhoea

● Hot or cold sweats

Please visit 1 Health Medical Centre, Bangalore, and consult with Orthopedic Surgeon Dr Rakesh Mohan if you have pain management concerns on your mind.

If you’re looking for an expert orthopaedist to look over your pain issues in relation to your ankle, hamstring, elbow, shoulder, hip, hand, knee, back, or neck please feel free to call 1Health. The expert Orthopaedist at 1 Health Medical Centre will suggest the best diagnosis and chart a treatment plan in accordance with the observations made of the diagnosis.


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