Advances in Knee Replacements

This new design allows surgeons to preserve the important central ligaments of the knee called the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments. This design should allow a knee replacement to move, respond, and feel more like a normal knee.

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The Anterior Hip

Patients are being told by both surgeons and orthopedic implant companies that Anterior Hip Replacement approach offers something unique and different compared to other approaches. This is a flatly untrue, unscientifically supported myth...

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Outpatient Joint Replacement

With Outpatient Joint Replacement Surgery, patients are able to return home the same day as the procedure. Patients also begin physical therapy within hours of surgery.

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Pain Minimizing Surgical Techniques in Portland, Oregon

As with any surgery, patients will experience some pain and discomfort after the procedure. However, Dr. Ballard is dedicated to using a multi-faceted approach to pain management in order to minimize any discomfort patients may experience during their recovery. Contact Dr. Ballard for more information on what to expect after joint replacement surgery.

Multi-Faceted Approach to Pain Management after Surgery

The multi-faceted approach to treating post-operative pain is one of the biggest advancements in hip replacement and knee replacement, with the goal of this approach being to stop pain before it even occurs. To achieve this goal, Dr. Ballard will address potential pain symptoms before, during, and after surgery hip and knee replacement procedures.

Pain management begins with psychological preparation, in which Dr. Ballard will meet one-on-one with patients to discuss what they can expect upon arriving at the hospital, the medications they will receive, and what will occur when they awaken after surgery.

While each patient’s recovery is unique, Dr. Ballard will often utilize all, or a combination, of the following pain minimizing surgical techniques:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Anesthesia
  • Nerve blocks

Prescription strength anti-inflammatory medications will be administered immediately before and after joint replacement surgery to decrease any pain, swelling, or inflammation. A nerve block is used to relieve pain symptoms in a specific area of the body by altering how the brain interprets the pain signals from the nerves. In addition to the nerve block, an anesthesiologist will give patients both local and general anesthesia.

The nerve block is put in place before surgery to reduce pain symptoms before they begin; it involves the injection of a numbing medication directly around the nerves that will be affected during surgery. Nerve blocks can also be used after surgery for post-operative pain control.

After surgery, patients will often use a pain pump to control pain symptoms for approximately one-to-two days after surgery. The pain pump administers anesthetic medication, often at regular intervals, into the repaired joint via a small catheter that was inserted into the joint during surgery. In addition, Dr. Ballard may also recommend that patients take Neurotin, a medication used to relieve pain caused by nerve damage sustained during surgery.

Non-Narcotic Medications after Surgery

Due to the addictive nature and increased amount of side effects of narcotics, Dr. Ballard is dedicated to working closely with joint replacement patients to develop an individualized pain management plan that includes milder medications, such as Tylenol or ibuprofen.

As each recovery is different, some patients may not need narcotic medications at all to relieve pain symptoms, while other patients may need them for a short time after surgery. If narcotic medication is deemed necessary after surgery, Dr. Ballard will monitor the patient’s symptoms closely to transition them off the use of narcotic medications and onto Tylenol and/or ibuprofen as soon as possible.

Pain Minimizing Surgical Techniques in Portland, Oregon

James C. Ballard, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in the Portland, OR area, renowned for his exceptional and personalized patient care. Using minimally invasive surgical techniques and a multi-faceted approach to joint replacement pain management, Dr. Ballard strives to provide patients with the fastest and most pain-free recovery as possible. To learn more about Dr. Ballard’s orthopedic and pain management specialties, schedule an appointment at his Oregon City office, (503) 656-0836.