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What is a non-opioid rapid recovery protocol?

After joint replacement surgery, pain was traditionally controlled with the routine use of opioid pain medications such as Percocet, oxycodone, Lortab or Hydrocodone. These medications can provide excellent pain relief with several major drawbacks including addictions, constipation, sedation, and dependence. Over the past several years there is a greater awareness of these side effects, and an increased emphasis to find alternative pain control measures.

A multimodal, non-opioid recovery protocol utilizes several measures to control pain. The program includes regional anesthesia such as spinal anesthetics instead of general anesthesia, use of intra-operative joint injections to reduce the body’s pain response, and a schedule of multiple non-opioid medications given both before and after surgery.

Through the exploration of clinical research and many years of experience, Dr. Noble created a unique and effective post-operative medication schedule that eliminates or significantly reduces the need for strong narcotic pain medications. The program utilizes multiple medications taken on a specific time schedule throughout the day. The medications include an anti-inflammatory (Celebrex or Meloxicam), Tylenol, Gabapentin, and Tramadol/Ultram (alternative pain medication). In additional, he includes the use of Aspirin for blood clot prevention and docusate to prevent constipation. Patients will only take Oxycodone if necessary, for breakthru pain that is not controlled with the specified medication schedule. The program has proven to be very successful, with many patients reporting a complete recovery after surgery without the use of Oxycodone or other strong narcotic pain medications.

Prior to surgery, Dr. Noble will explain his opioid sparing protocol with detailed instructions and an easy-to-follow medication grid. Adjustments will be made to the protocol based upon allergies or other medical issues. All prescriptions will be provided before surgery and patients are encouraged to fill these prior to the procedure.