Pain Management After Total Joint Arthroplasty

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Controlling pain after total joint arthroplasty (TJA) is critical to minimizing complications, decreasing costs, and expediting patients' return to function. We implemented a TJA multimodal pain management protocol at a Level III trauma center in a small, rural community in New York. We retrospectively reviewed 266 patient charts and collected patient demographics, pain management information, and discharge data. Our primary goals were to quantify the total number of narcotic medication doses used and length of hospital stay. The multimodal pain management protocol significantly reduced the number of narcotic doses used (P < .01). Hospital length of stay decreased slightly; although not statistically significant (P = .25), this may be clinically significant. Gender, age, and type of arthroplasty (ie, knee, hip) were not significant factors. A multimodal approach to pain management after TJA can reduce narcotic use and hospital length of stay, thereby also reducing the incidence of side effects from narcotics.

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