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Pain Pump Helps Orthopedic Patients Recover Faster

Until recently, the standard of care for treating post-surgical pain was the use of narcotics like morphine. These drugs can cause unpleasant side effects such as nausea, constipation, headaches, dizziness, and breathing difficulty.

Mike Wolf, CRNA, shows the ON-Q Pain Pump that is utilized at Berlin Memorial Hospital. It has proven to be highly-effective for post surgery pain relief.

The Anesthesia and Pain Management Team at Berlin Memorial Hospital has been using the ON-Q PainBuster Pain Pump for the past year. According to Mike Wolf, CRNA, “Studies have shown that orthopedic patients on the pain pump report less pain so they walk more quickly and recover faster.”

Similar to your dentist injecting Novocaine into your mouth to create a numbing sensation, ON-Q saturates the nerve which inervates the surgical site to create a numbing effect. The ON-Q PainBuster, a small, balloon-shaped pump filled with a non-narcotic, pain medicine is connected to a tiny tube providing a constant infusion of anesthetic to relieve pain to a specific area helping the patient get back to normal more quickly.

The anesthetist inserts the ON-Q catheter prior to surgery so the patient has continuous pain relief for up to five days after surgery. The ON-Q pain pump goes home when the patient is discharged and the patient removes the catheter when the pump is empty.

“The advances in pain management for our orthopedic patients are staggering when you see a total knee replacement patient receiving aggressive physical therapy the same day they had surgery. That would not have been possible a few years ago,” says Mike.


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