Our aims for your anaesthetic care are to ensure your safety and comfort both during the surgery and post-operatively on the ward. In addition, recent advances in the anaesthetic techniques utilised and indeed post-operative care and pain management, have allowed patients to be mobilised sooner following surgery and, when appropriate, to rehabilitate more rapidly, reducing the length of stay and facilitating a patient’s return to a good functional level soon after the procedure.
Your individual anaesthetic plan will be discussed with you during the Consultant Anaesthetist’s pre-operative visit following your admission. The plan will take into account any underlying medical conditions and how they relate to the anaesthetic techniques available. The anaesthetic chosen will also be influenced by the surgery being planned together with any other concerns. In addition, many of these areas will be discussed with you in the pre-operative appointment that will take place a week or two prior to your admission.
Most patients undergoing joint replacement have surgery under a ‘regional’ anaesthetic. This is a single injection at the base of the back that numbs the lower half of the body during surgery. Spinal anaesthetic has been shown to reduce the risks of deep venous thrombosis but also can reduce bleeding during surgery hence making the requirement for blood transfusion uncommon. In addition, spinal anaesthetic will improve acute post-operative pain control and, with more modern techniques, will still allow the patient to mobilise relatively rapidly following the procedure. You can choose whether to be conscious or indeed unconscious during surgery. This can be influenced by the amount of sedation that is used during the operation. Again, this can be discussed with the anaesthetic consultant prior to the procedure.
If you would like to find out more about anaesthesia for hip and knee surgery the patient section of the Royal College of Anaesthetists GBI website has further information available
© Andrew R J Manktelow – 2019