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Southlake knee replacement patients have new way to manage pain at home

A simple disposable catheter helps patients reduce pain medication, do physiotherapy more easily, and get back home sooner with greater comfort, Newmarket anesthesiologist says
Supplied photo

Southlake’s anesthesiologists and orthopedic surgical teams are finding new ways to help patients who have total knee replacement surgery better manage their pain at home. This week Southlake started using this approach for patients who are receiving a total knee replacement.

After surgery, the anesthesiologist inserts a small catheter into the mid-thigh near the nerve responsible for sensation to the front of the knee. The clinical name for this is an adductor canal catheter (ACC).

A small disposable pump continuously delivers local anesthetic, keeping the front of the knee anesthetized. Patients can remove the pump themselves a few days after the procedure when it is no longer needed.

In the past, patients would have their total knee replacement surgery without the ACC and use acetaminophen and anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), as well as stronger opioid medications to manage their pain.

With the ACC and local anesthetic pump, patients are able to better manage their pain and reduce the use of these opioids after their surgery. Patients are often able to go home the same day of their surgery, avoiding an overnight stay.

Dr. Alim Punja, an anesthesiologist at Southlake, says, “Knee replacements can be a painful experience and our teams are always looking for ways to do things better for our patients. This simple disposable catheter helps patients better manage their pain, allowing them to do their physiotherapy more easily, and get our patients back to their own home sooner, and with greater comfort.”


“Because the demand for this surgery is high and wait times are important to us, getting patients home the same day helps us do more knee replacement surgeries and more importantly gets our patents mobilized faster so they can start their physiotherapy sooner. I’m seeing better outcomes for my patients and they are telling me how grateful they are to have this option available,” says Dr. Patrick Gamble, orthopedic surgeon.                                                     

Southlake performed more than 560 total knee replacements last year and is proud to share this example of leading-edge care for our patients.