Knee Replacement = Pain Replacement

FRESNO, Calif.

Deborah Boise has to clean this apartment pronto. Of course, her pesky right knee kept her from sprucing up things in the first place.

"Years ago, I decided to take karate and jujitsu when I was in my forties, "Deborah Boise told Ivanhoe.

She says the strain from that and arthritis meant she needed a new one. More than 700-thousand people line up for knee replacements each year. But hospital recovery takes time -- in part due to the narcotic pain meds used in surgery.

"But they cause lots of other problems: nausea, confusion, patient couldn't remember what they did in therapy the day before," Hugh Morris, M.D., orthopedic surgeon at Florida Hospital explained.

So the Florida Hospital team led by doctor Hugh Morris perfected a new surgery technique. Surgeons place a femoral nerve block high in the thigh. This way, non-narcotic meds can be used to numb the limb and keep it that way for two days after surgery. The result is up to a 95 percent reduction in post-op pain.

"Because their pain is controlled so much better, they can do so much more with their physicaltherapy much earlier," Dr. Morris said.

The new method means physical therapy that could take up to six months now may only take six weeks. Deborah knows, she got her left knee replaced years ago using the old method.

"There's a hope there now that I didn't have so much with the left one," Deborah said.

Ashley White, Media Relations
Florida Hospital
Orlando, FL
(407) 303-8214

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