Hospital Stay & Pain Management in Sonora

Making your stay a positive experience

We want to make your stay at Adventist Health Sonora as comfortable as possible. Our second floor medical/surgical unit has been remodeled with special features just for our joint replacement patients.

The hard surface flooring includes markers every 10 feet — goals for patients to walk to as they work with a physical or occupational therapist after hip or knee replacement. Artwork includes illustrations that teach patients post-operative exercises to get them started with rehabilitation.

Pain management

Control of pain after joint replacement surgery remains the number one concern of individuals considering joint replacement surgery. Experiences with pain levels after joint replacement surgery vary widely from person to person. Because your pain will differ from people you may have talked to, techniques to manage your pain must be adjusted to your unique situation.

We have observed that individuals who take the time and make the effort to educate themselves about the entire joint replacement experience are less anxious and better prepared to manage the pain. Extremely anxious patients generally have wide swings in their degree of pain and may need antianxiety meds to supplement their pain medications.

Research on pain management has shown it is easier to prevent pain before it starts than it is to manage the pain once it has become severe. This preventative approach is called "preemptive pain control.” Preemptive pain control means that we begin pain management prior to or during the joint replacement surgery, using both anti-inflammatory medicines as well as pain medicines.

Studies have also shown pain can be managed much more effectively when multiple methods of pain control are used, called "multimodal pain control.” Multimodal pain control involves an ongoing technique of using multiple medications and techniques to address the many different ways of reducing our body's response to pain.

You’re an important part of your pain management team. We need your understanding of the methods and cooperation with these evidenced-based medication programs and schedule.

Please remember that a reasonable goal with pain management is to achieve a manageable or tolerable level of discomfort. To expect "zero" pain is unrealistic, as it would require you to be so heavily medicated you would have difficulty functioning. Activities such as talking, getting out of bed to the commode, walking or participating in physical therapy exercises would be very difficult to perform.

What to expect after surgery

There are some normal symptoms you may encounter after undergoing joint replacement surgery.

It is not uncommon to experience:

  • Normal incision pain: Soreness, burning or sharp pains, with a sensation of tightness or pressure felt along the incision line
  • Swelling: Tight band feel along the front of the knee
  • Varying levels of knee pain, thigh pain or calf pain
  • Numbness in the front of your leg from the femoral nerve block used to control pain