Partial Anaesthesia risk reduction and postsurgical pain suppression
Most parts of the body can be anaesthetised individually
Local anaesthesia or partial anaesthesia plays an ever increasing role in orthopaedic surgery. Partial anaesthesia can be used as a supplement to general anaesthesia. Partial anaesthesia can even completely replace general anaesthesia in many cases. Patients are able to stay awake with partial anaesthesia. They may also fall into a shallow sleep during surgery, if only a mild sedative is used. The level and type of anaesthesia chosen, depends on the desire of the individual patient to observe arthroscopic surgery on a screen.
How is a Partial anaesthesia performed?
During partial anaesthesia individual parts or regions of the body are made free of pain and sensitivity.
One common use of regional anaesthesia is familiar to everyone who has ever had anaesthesia during a dental procedure.
Regional anaesthesia can be combined with either a light sleep medication (sedative) or deep general anaesthesia according to individual patient preference. This additional anaesthesia is optional, as the patient is already completely pain free. It might however be beneficial to sedate a patient in some cases, in order to lower the general stress levels in the body.
Types of Partial anaesthesia
Types of Local Anaesthesia
- Neuraxial anaesthesia
- Peripheral regional anaesthesia
There are two types of partial anaesthesia. One type of partial anaesthesia neuraxial anaesthesia is well known from spinal anaesthesia. Spinal and epidural anaesthesia are the most well known types of neuraxial anaesthesia. This type of anaesthesia can block pain and sensitivity in large areas of the body such as the chest, abdomen, pelvis, or both legs for example.
Another major type of partial anaesthesia peripheral regional anaesthesia gives the possibility of blocking individual nerves in order to anaesthetise a very specific part of the body only such as a single finger, arm, leg, or foot for example.
Modern devices guided by ultrasound, bring precision to partial anaesthesia.
Partial anaesthesia has many advantages:
- smaller drug dose
- significant reduction of complications
- patient is awake to watch the surgical procedure on a screen if desired
These forms of partial anaesthesia have been used for some time by modern centres such as the orthopaedic Gelenk Klinik. As they require very precise high resolution ultrasound guided equipment which is expensive, these techniques are not yet widely available elsewhere.