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Case studies

A case of chronic pain after hip replacement surgery

Eric J Visser, Tim Mitchell

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Abstract

A pain specialist and physiotherapist discuss their own particular aspect of care of this patient with chronic pain following a total hip replacement.

Key Points

  • Risk factors for chronic postsurgical pain following total hip replacement include chronic hip pain before surgery, female gender, increased body mass index, anxiety and depression.
  • Effective pain management in this case requires a multimodal, multidisciplinary approach.
  • Consistent communication between healthcare professionals can positively influence outcome in individuals with chronic pain.
  • Pain management starts with screening for surgical complications and red flag conditions.
  • Trialling nerve blocks and musculoskeletal injections with local anaesthetic and corticosteroids may help identify and treat ‘pain generators’ in the hip region.
  • The patient should be referred to a physiotherapist for functional rehabilitation.

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