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Preventing the Development of Chronic Pain After Orthopaedic Surgery with Preventive Multimodal Analgesic Techniques

Reuben, Scott S. MD; Buvanendran, Asokumar MD

Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery - American Volume: June 2007 - Volume 89 - Issue 6 - p 1343–1358
doi: 10.2106/JBJS.F.00906
Current Concepts Review
Supplementary Content

The prevalences of complex regional pain syndrome, phantom limb pain, chronic donor-site pain, and persistent pain following total joint arthroplasty are alarmingly high.

Central nervous system plasticity that occurs in response to tissue injury may contribute to the development of persistent postoperative pain. Many researchers have focused on methods to prevent central neuroplastic changes from occurring through the utilization of preemptive or preventive multimodal analgesic techniques.

Multimodal analgesia allows a reduction in the doses of individual drugs for postoperative pain and thus a lower prevalence of opioid-related adverse events. The rationale for this strategy is the achievement of sufficient analgesia due to the additive effects of, or the synergistic effects between, different analgesics.

Effective multimodal analgesic techniques include the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, local anesthetics, α-2 agonists, ketamine, α2-δ ligands, and opioids.

1 Department of Anesthesiology, Baystate Medical Center, 759 Chestnut Street, Springfield, MA 01199. E-mail address:

2 Department of Anesthesiology, Rush University Medical Center, 1653 West Congress Parkway, Suite 739, Jelke Building, Chicago, IL 60612

Copyright 2007 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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