Anaesthesia & Pain relief for
Recently Completed Research
5 DAY PAIN RELIEF PUMPS FOR KNEE REPLACEMENT
We have recently completed a study of extended duration pain relief via a local anaesthetic catheter for knee replacement surgery. We found that we could successfully use portable local anaesthetic pumps to deliver continuous pain relief for up to 5 days after surgery. While this may not be necessary for all patients it was certainly found to be beneficial for certain patients who are experiencing more pain.
OPIOID USE FOLLOWING DISCHARGE
Patients routinely need some strong pain relief (opioid or narcotic based) following discharge from hospital after hip or knee joint replacement. However it was not clear exactly how long this was needed. In a recently completed study we were able to learn more about patient needs for pain relief following discharge. Approximately 70% require opioids for at least 2 weeks but by 6 weeks only ~20% still needed opioids. By 12 weeks only 3.6% were still taking opioids.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE:
It is important to realise that it is normal to need these strong pain tablets for at least 2 weeks and possibly up to 6 weeks after joint replacement. If you are struggling to reduce your intake beyond 6 weeks it may help to see a pain specialist or work closely with your GP. It is important to aim to stop taking opioid medication completely by 12 weeks as longer term use may be bad for your overall health, worsen pain issues and potentially lead to some dependency problems.
Pain Relief Catheters //
Knee Joint Replacement
Using advanced ultrasound techniques a local anaesthetic catheter will be placed adjacent to nerves in your thigh to reduce pain signals from your knee joint. This will be connected to a simple portable lightweight pump which will deliver numbing medication (local anaesthetic) for several days after your operation.
Hollywood Private Hospital
Senior Staff Specialist
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
Bethesda Hospital, Perth
Hollywood Medical Centre
Suite 1, 85 Monash Avenue
Western Australia 6009
I did my medical degree at The Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland. My specialist Anaesthetic training began in Ireland. I continued my training in Intensive Care Medicine in Auckland, NZ and then completed my Anaesthetic training in Perth, WA. I am dual trained in Anaesthesia and Critical Care with additional qualifications in peri-operative Echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart).
After many years working both in critical care and anaesthesia more recently I shifted my practice to full time anaesthesia. My main interest now is trying to ensure a smooth recovery following surgery with a particular focus on pain relief. I have been fortunate to work with a great team and have been involved in researching exciting new techniques for pain relief.
I spend 2 days a week working at "Charlies" covering the emergency lists working alongside emerging specialists.
The remainder of my time is spent mainly at Hollywood Private Hospital working with Riaz Khan and Dan Fick both orthopaedic surgeons specialising in lower limb reconstructive and joint replacement surgery.
The blend of 'public' and 'private' medicine is helpful both in maintaining up to date current practice and cross fertilisation of ideas across both sectors to the benefit of patients.
MB BCh BAO LRCP & SI (NUI) 1992
Medical Degree, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Anaesthetic Fellowship, College of Anaesthetists, Ireland
Intensive Care Fellowship, Australia & New Zealand
Anaesthetic Fellowship, Australia & New Zealand
PG Dip ECHO 2006
Echocardiography Diploma, University of Melbourne