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Pain technique may aid hip recovery

Monday June 10th, 2013

Using local anaesthetic to treat pain after a hip operation can make a massive difference to recovery, British researchers have reported.

A study in Newcastle-upon-Tyne suggests the new treatment helped cut death rates and improved pain relief.

Doctors substituted the use of local anaesthetics for opiates - using techniques previously developed for knee operations.

They reported their findings to the conference of the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology in Istanbul, Turkey, on Saturday.

Some 400 patients with an average age of 80 took part in the research. About 20% were given conventional pain relief and the remained were offered the new treatment, known as the enhanced recovery protocol.

The researchers said using local anaesthetic meant a 40% reduction in the amount of opiates used. Patients who received it spent an average of 9.3 days in hospital compared with 12 days for others.

Dr William Harrison, based at the Northumbria Healthcare Trust, said: “The results of this study were striking. We feel this deserves further study.

"We are continuing to use enhanced recovery with our patients, but multi-centre randomised trials should be completed before it can be recommended as standard practice in all centres.”

Tags: NHS | Orthopaedics | Pain Relief | UK News

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