Posted on February 1, 2017

An article written by ONS surgeon Paul Sethi, MD, was featured in the January 2017 of WAG magazine.   He wrote about the success he and other ONS surgeons have been having using a new, local analgesic during surgery that keeps the surgical area numb for at least 72 hours.  This is significant because it means patients need far fewer, if any, opioids to control surgical pain.

In the piece he writes,

“Some patients who have been administered the analgesic have not needed any narcotics for pain, or, if they did, they’ve needed far fewer than with traditional postsurgical pain control. Since those patients take painkillers for a much shorter period of time, the risk of addiction is greatly reduced, as is the risk that unused pills will fall into the hands of friends or loved ones. Currently, about 70 percent of prescription opioids used for nonmedical reasons are obtained through family or friends, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

In the past, recovery from total shoulder replacement surgery has usually required weeks of pain and opioids to control it. This was not the case for Manhattan resident Marjorie Purnick, who was out to dinner with friends the night after her procedure, which included the administration of the numbing medicine. She said she has never taken a single pill for pain in the four months since her shoulder replacement surgery.

“It was incredible. I kept waiting for the pain to hit, but it never did,” she says. “Friends who have had the same surgery don’t believe me when I tell them that I had no pain.” With the help of physical therapy, Marjorie has regained close to 100 percent of her range of motion, a recovery that she says has been four to eight months quicker than her friends. “I think I’ve recovered so quickly, because I didn’t have pain holding me back. I could get started with therapy right away.”

Vivid memories of the agonizing pain that Rye resident Michele Herrera had endured following a surgery on her left shoulder five years ago had been preventing her from undergoing surgery to correct torn biceps and bone spurs in her right shoulder … Read more