Freezing nerves 'can improve knee replacement outcomes'

15 February 2016

Freezing nerves before knee replacement surgery could be an effective way of improving patient outcomes.

This is according to a new study from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, which assessed 100 patients with advanced osteoarthritis requiring total knee replacement.

Half of the group was treated with standard multiple pain management options, while the other half underwent cryoneurolysis in addition to the pain management strategies.

Only six per cent of patients treated with cryoneurolysis prior to surgery needed to stay in hospital for two or more days, compared to 67 per cent of patients who did not receive the treatment.

Moreover, almost half of the patients treated with nerve freezing were discharged on the same day of surgery, compared with only 14 per cent in the control group. This may be due to better local control of pain and a reduced need for nerve blocks that can impair motor function.

Dr Vinod Dasa, associate professor of clinical orthopaedics at Louisiana State University Health New Orleans School of Medicine, said: "Patients in the treatment group had significantly shorter hospital stays, were prescribed significantly fewer opioids during the first 12 weeks post-operatively, and had significantly fewer knee symptoms."

Posted by Philip Briggs

 


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