Knee Replacement = Pain Replacement

If you need a new knee, your biggest worry has got to be the pain, and after that, the length of recovery. But what if you could get surgery, get better, and get out the hospital door faster than ever before? Robyn Haines shows us how that dream is now a reality in Healthy Living. Deborah Boise started karate and jujitsu in her forties. She says the strain from that and arthritis meant she needed a new knee. More than 700,000 people line up for knee replacements each year. But hospital recovery takes time — in part due to the narcotic pain meds used in surgery. 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: up to a 95-percent reduction in post-op pain. 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. While this current surgery is six years in-the-making, Doctor Morris' team pioneered the advanced “nerve block” technique you just saw. So far, it's been used in more than 100 patients over the past six months.