Orthopedic Post-Op: Pain-Free Without Opioids


Our community is understandably concerned about the national opioid epidemic fueled by post-operative medications, such as oxycodone, that may lead to addiction or serve as a gateway to stronger and addictive drugs. As a premier destination for joint and spine care—including joint replacement procedures, complex spinal surgery, and physical therapy services—our goal is for our patients to be as pain-free as possible without the use of narcotics. In partnership with the anesthesia team, our orthopedic group began using a single-injection regional nerve block that provides up to 96 hours of post-surgical pain relief. This innovative approach yielded spectacular outcomes: we eliminated pain, educated patients on what to expect, and directed them to non-opioid medications like Tylenol and ibuprofen for any discomfort. Our patients were delighted. We were successfully able to achieve minimal or no opioid use with significant improvement in patient satisfaction. As a result, we are expanding the use of long-term regional anesthesia blocks as a protocol in other surgical procedures.