New Device Relieves Patient's Pain - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/21/05

New Device Relieves Patient's Pain

It looks like a baby bottle, but this thing is the newest way to relieve pain for patients who undergo total knee and hip replacement surgery. The device uses a catheter hooked up to the bottle to treat pain at its source.

"It's like having an epidural in your leg. Only this leg is numb. It has no effect on the brain, or the GI tract, or anything else," says Dr. Jeffrey Swenson, with the University of Utah Orthopedic Center.

"There's no pain. I wiggle my toes right away and now, I'm on a machine that should be hurting because it's folding my knee, and I don't," says Georgette Moustos, who had total knee replacement.

Georgette had a full knee replacement five hours earlier. When she leaves the hospital, she'll take the bottle home with her. It's loaded with anesthetic and strapped to her leg and inserted under her bandages. It will keep her completely pain free for two more days at home, when the pain is usually at it's worst. When the treatment is finished, patients at home simply remove the catheters themselves and throw the kit away.

Researchers at the University of Utah say they believe the device will work not just for knees, but for upper extremities as well.

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