One of the biggest concerns of patients considering knee replacement is the amount of pain they will have after surgery. Although it is a very successful operation overall to relieve arthritis pain and restore function, persistent postoperative pain can be a problem for some individuals. Researchers determined which patients were at highest risk for increased postoperative pain based on demographic and surgical variables.
Two types of regional anesthesia do not make patients more prone to falls in the first days after having knee replacement surgery as some have previously suggested, according to a study based on nearly 200,000 patient records. Regional forms of anesthesia – spinal or epidural (neuraxial) anesthesia and peripheral nerve blocks (PNB) – which only numb the area of the body that requires surgery, provide better pain control and faster rehabilitation and fewer complications than general anesthesia, research shows. But some surgeons avoid using them due to concerns regional anesthesia may cause motor weakness, making patients more likely to fall when they are walking in the first days after knee replacement surgery.
Each year, approximately 600,000 total knee replacement procedures are performed in the United States, a number that is expected to rise in the next decade as the population ages. For the first time in the United States, an iASSIST system is now in use. iASSIST is a computer navigation system with Bluetooth-like technology that improves surgical precision and accuracy in total knee replacements, decreasing the need for revision surgery.
Chemical compounds synthesized in the laboratory, similar to those found in cannabis, could be developed as potential drugs to reduce the pain of osteoarthritis.
These compounds could also reduce joint inflammation, according to new research carried out at the Arthritis Research UK Pain Centre at The University of Nottingham.
The Finnish Degenerative Meniscal Lesion Study (FIDELITY) compared surgical treatment of degenerative meniscal tears to placebo surgery. A year after the procedure the study participants, both those in the group who underwent surgery and the ones in the placebo group, had an equally low incidence of symptoms and were satisfied with the overall situation of their knee.
A single stem cell injection following meniscus knee surgery may provide pain relief and aid in meniscus regrowth, according to a novel study appearing in the January issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS).
In the first-of-its-kind study, "Adult Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) Delivered via Intra-Articular Injection to the Knee, Following Partial Medial Meniscectomy," most patients who received a single injection of adult stem cells following the surgical removal of all or part of a torn meniscus, reported a significant reduction in pain.
Hundreds of thousands of hip and knee replacement surgeries are performed in the United States each year, and they are highly successful in eliminating pain, restoring mobility and improving quality of life.
Over the past two years, Dr. Westrich has seen a sharp increase in the number of people coming in for a second hip or knee replacement, called a revision surgery. When the implant wears out or another problem develops, people often need a second surgery in which the existing implant or components are taken out and replaced.
Dr. Westrich says patients should be aware of warning signs that there may be a problem, such as pain that comes on suddenly or trouble getting around. They also may have decreased range of motion. Anyone with a joint replacement experiencing these symptoms should see their doctor immediately, Dr. Westrich adds.
The cause of osteoarthritis -- other than known risk factors such as age or earlier injury -- is not yet known. The researchers at the MedUni Vienna have discovered, however, that certain proteins known as lectins, and in particular galectins, have a role to play in the painful wear and tear of the joints.
These new findings, according to the vision of the MedUni Vienna researchers, could lead to galectins in future being used both in the treatment and, as bio-markers, in the disease prediction of osteoarthritis.