One of the biggest downsides to having shoulder surgery can be the days after you go under the knife, athletes usually spend this time laying in bed on some type of prescribed pain killer. Dealing with side effects such as Drowsiness, Fatigue, and nausea.
But what if there was a way to keep the pain at bay. But without having to stay in bed all day. Dr. Chandler Harvey of United regional says it's possible, "the process is regional nerve block and by that i mean we turn off the region of the body in which individuals are having pain"
That's right. Turn off the area that you're having pain. And although it's never a guarantee you'll be totally pain free, Dr. Harvey says the regional nerve block technique currently being used at united regional has received rave reviews. "everything in anesthesia is risk to benefit. And with this technique the benefit greatly outweighs the risk otherwise we wouldn't even be talking about it."
The way it works, is after a shoulder surgery, doctors use ultrasound to find the nerve center they want to target. These nerve centers control how you experience pain. Then, using the ultrasound as a guide. They insert a catheter going right up to where you're nerves are firing. Once everything is secure, doctors will give the patient something looking like a water balloon. But in reality it holds the medicine continuously giving a small dose which blocks pain in the targeted area. Doctors can even set a clicker to control how fast the medicine is administered. Dr. Harvey says all this adds up to you spending less time woozy in bed. "it's going to let them get back to their normal routine sooner. Now again with certain blocks they'll go home with the pain pump and that will continuously deliver that pain medicine and keep their pain under control so we have lots of people that go to school, and they take their pain pump with them in a little bag."
And because this process can be utilized by any athletes needing pain medication after a shoulder surgery. "we see a lot of football players, we see a lot of volleyball players, baseball players. Basically any of the sports that use the shoulder with the rotator cuff injuries. And then football comes to mind with the knee injury,"
The more you know about local Anesthesia or the process of regional nerve blocking the better. So if you do have surgery, be sure to ask you're doctor if you have any questions about you'r options for controlling you're pain.
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