O-R Tactic Cuts Drug Risks In Kids, Admissions By 98%

Doctors Use Ultrasound to Find & Numb Certain Nerves, Eliminate Opioids for Pain

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) August 2014 – Any parent whose child has undergone surgery can tell you how nerve-racking it can be.  Not only do parents worry about the pain associated with surgery, but also the drugs that are often used to control it.

“In the past we often had to admit children to the hospital following surgery, some for several days, in order to manage their pain with opioids,” said Tarun Bhalla, MD, director of Acute Pain and Regional Anesthesia at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  “But with innovative pain-blocking techniques we are making great strides in changing that,” he said.

Using ultrasound machines doctors here are able to pinpoint which nerves will be affected during surgery.  Then, by inserting a tiny catheter, they’re able to administer pain medication directly to those nerves, which eliminates the need for opioids and dramatically reduces hospital admissions.  A recent study of knee surgery cases at Nationwide Children’s Hospital shows admissions were cut by 98 percent.

“Not only are children going home an hour or two after surgery, but we’re managing their pain with much less risk and far fewer side effects,” said Bhalla.


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15-year old Madison Liston of Pickerington, Ohio relaxes at home while a portable nerve-block system pumps pain killing medication directly to the nerves of her knee after she underwent ACL surgery. Doctors at Nationwide Children`s Hospital use the technique to find and numb only certain nerves during and after surgery, which dramatically cuts the need for opioid pain medications in children. Most patients who undergo surgery with this technique are home within a matter of hours. Details on the approach here: bit.ly/1pf4TBH

A take-home device that pumps medication directly to certain nerves is helping to reduce pain in children who undergo knee surgery and is dramatically cutting the need for hospitalization. Doctors at Nationwide Children`s Hospital use ultrasound machines to identify and numb only certain nerves, cutting out the need for powerful opioids for pain management and slashing hospitalization rates in knee surgeries here by 98 percent. To learn more about the procedure click here: bit.ly/1pf4TBH

For decades doctors have used powerful pain medications like opioids to help children cope with the pain of surgery. Doctors at Nationwide Children`s Hospital are offering another approach, using ultrasound machines to find and numb only certain nerves during and after knee surgery. The approach allows children to go home within hours of their operations and lowers the potential risks that come with taking opioid painkillers. Details here: bit.ly/1pf4TBH

Anesthesiologist Dr. Tarun Bhalla prepares for knee surgery on a 15 year old girl at Nationwide Children`s Hospital. Bhalla is among the national leaders in using a nerve-block technique that numbs only specific nerves during surgery and keeps kids off of powerful pain medications like opioids. Bhalla says the technique has reduced pain postoperatively for children and has cut the need for hospitalizations after knee surgery by 98 percent. For more on the technique click here: bit.ly/1pf4TBH

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