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Reducing Pain from Knee Surgery

New research shows taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) before and after knee replacement surgery significantly reduces pain from the procedure.//

Researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago studied 70 patients who were undergoing knee replacement surgery. Some of the patients were randomly assigned to receive 50 milligrams of an oral NSAID at 24 hours and two hours before the surgery, 50 milligrams each day for five days after surgery, and 25 milligrams of the drug for another eight days. The remaining patients received a placebo at the same times.

Results show patients receiving the NSAID rofecoxib had significantly less pain, consumed fewer painkillers, and had significantly fewer sleep disturbances. Those taking the drug also had an increased range of motion of the knee after surgery.

Experts say controlling pain after knee replacement surgery, while also reducing the use of pain medication remains an important challenge to anesthesiologists and surgeons alike. Authors of the study write, "This study validates the efficacy of perioperative use of rofecoxib to reduce postoperative pain and improved outcome after major orthopedic surgery."

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