Marcaine injections can do wonders to suppress the pain of a failed or loosened knee replacement.
This begs the question of if a gel form of this drug can also be effective.
Very Fast Pain Relief
If Marcaine is injected into the knee of a person with loosened implants from a failed total knee replacement procedure, the pain will be subdued nearly instantly.
For some patients, this quick result will be enough to enable them to walk surprisingly comfortably — when normally, due to the failed TKR, they’d have difficulty walking due to the pain.
But So Temporary
Unfortunately, the anesthetic effect of Marcaine against the pain of a loosened knee replacement lasts for only several hours.
Obviously, the patient can’t keep getting injections every several hours.
Source of the Pain
A doctor will inject Marcaine into the joint to see if the pain in the knee is originating from there, rather than from elsewhere in the body such as a compressed nerve higher up.
Thus, if it’s suspected that the patient’s TKR has failed or loosened, and is therefore causing aggravation in the joint, the physician may elect to administer an injection of Marcaine to help guide in a diagnosis.
This begs the question:
Why can’t a gel form of marcaine be developed to be applied as needed to manage pain from a loosened TKR?
Is there even a such thing as a gel form of this drug?
“Not that I know of, but there are Lidoderm patches that can be applied 12 hours daily which can give some topical relief,” says Henry Boucher, MD, clinical instructor of Adult Reconstruction, Medstar Union Memorial Orthopaedics, Baltimore, MD.
What about a permanent fix to failed TKR pain? Well, unfortunately, the only permanent fix is a knee revision surgery, which takes longer than the original one.
And this is not a guarantee that the problem will be fixed. The revision surgery can also be a fail.
Dr. Boucher’s specialties are hip and knee surgery, replacement and revision, and sports medicine surgery. He has been the recipient of the Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence multiple times.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
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