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Orthopedics. 2003 Aug;26(8 Suppl):s865-71.

Anesthesia and postoperative analgesia: outcomes following orthopedic surgery.

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Department of Anesthesiology, The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pa., USA.


The demand for increased efficiency and decreased hospital stay has magnified the role of anesthesia and acute postoperative pain management in orthopedics. Orthopedic anesthesia and acute postoperative pain management, which are subspecialties of anesthesiology, are increasingly recognized for their positive effect on the length of hospital stay, functional recovery, and patient satisfaction. Recently, there has been a resurgence in the use of continuous nerve block techniques for postoperative pain management. These techniques have been shown to be effective and safe in controlling postoperative pain, both at rest and during physical therapy, even in anticoagulated patients. The use of peripheral nerve blocks for anesthesia has been associated with earlier discharge when compared with general anesthesia and neuraxial blocks in patients undergoing ambulatory orthopedic surgery. Regional techniques are usually part of a multimodal strategy that includes both pharmacological and nonpharmacological approaches to pain management.

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