Maryland orthopedic surgeons performing surgery without opioids: 5 things to know


Robert Fisher, MD, of Frederick (Md.) Surgical Center, is encouraging patients to choose outpatient surgery that does not require opioid use for knee replacement operations, according to the Frederick News Post.

Here are five things to know.

1. Minimizing opioid use is a priority for Dr. Fisher as every 1 in 12 Americans are prescribed opioids.

2. Before patients undergo knee replacement, an anesthesiologist injects a long-acting dose of Exparel, a nerve blocker, behind the patient's knee.

3. The nerve blocker is also injected into the patient's soft tissue after the implant is inserted.

4. After the procedure, Dr. Fisher inserts another nerve block into the patient's thigh and connects it to a catheter with a self-operated pump. Patients can then administer pain relief medication themselves for up to three days post-surgery.

5. Orthopedic surgeons may prescribe opioids after surgery; however, anti-inflammatory medication is recommended.

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