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Joint Replacement Patients

Managing Pain

Pain control during and after surgery is likely to be one of the most common concerns of joint replacement patients. With today’s medications and pain management techniques, your pain should be tolerable.

  • Your doctor will choose the method right for you based upon your medical history, the amount of pain you are having and your phase of recovery.
  • Regardless of the pain management protocol being used, it is important for you to communicate with your surgeon if the pain medication is not sufficient, if you are feeling nauseous, or if you are not as alert as you feel you should be. Adjustments can be made to make your pain management program as effective as possible.
  • Call the surgeon’s office before going to an Emergency Department for pain! If it’s after normal working hours, the after hours answering service will contact the on-call provider for you.
    • Orthopaedic Specialists Office Phone Number: (563) 344-9292

Pain has a cycle. It begins and increases until medication interrupts it. The aim of good pain control is to stop the pain before it becomes intolerable. It is especially important take your pain medication 30-45 minutes prior to any exercise session so that you can achieve your goals more comfortably.

  • Pain usually increases 24-48 hours after surgery.
  • Stay on a medication schedule, this will help you stay on top of your pain and keep it tolerable.
  • Take all medications with food.
  • Call your surgeon’s office for prescription refills or if there is a medication that is not working for you.

It is important to try to relax after your surgery and one way that may help is to listen to your favorite relaxing music.

Other ways to help minimizing your discomfort:

  • Frequent position changes
  • applying ice or cold for 30 minutes at a time on a regular schedule

Understanding the Pain Scale

Using a number to rate your pain level can help your care team understand and help manage it. Your physicians, nurses and therapists will  frequently ask you for your pain level and with good communication, the team can make adjustments to make you more comfortable.

Post Operative Medication Calendar

  • Check with your surgeon and primary care provider about when to resume home medications.
  • You will be given your own schedule that is specific to the medications you will be prescribed.
  • Below is an EXAMPLE of what your calendar may look like.