Spinal Anesthetic

Posted , 10 users are following.

I am due to have a total knee replacement in the next few weeks and the doctors are pushing to get me to have this done by spinal. I am really not happy about this and very scared just wondering if anyone has had teh same experience and if they have did you have spinal or general and how did it go?

1 like, 15 replies

Report / Delete

15 Replies

  • Posted

    I haven't had a knee replacement - but 20 years ago I made quite a mess of my knee skiing! I needed nails and screws and plates to glue it back together. I was offered the option of a spinal anaesthetic and, since I'd already had an epidural for a c-section when my daughter was born very prematurely and I had pre-eclampsia, I had no hestitaion in saying yes. The following year much of the metalwork was removed in a hospital in the UK - where I had to request the spinal. The first op I was given no sedation, just offered a CD of whatever music I fancied,  and I spent most of the time talking to the anaesthetists who ere desperate to practise their English - I occasionaly noticed the activities behind the curtain that was put up to screen the leg. The second one I was given a couple of sleeping tablets and woke up in the ward - but it was nothing like recovering from a general anaesthetic - back to a cup of tea and my dinner straight away!

    I know a couple of ladies who have had spinals for hip replacements. Both also had sedation so weren't awake during the actual procedure. Both were terrified beforehand just like you but afterwards said they were so glad they'd opted for the spinal after all. You don't have to be awake - and very often the surgeon opts for you to be sedated anyway - but the recovery afterwards is much much faster than with a GA and you are able to mobilise better, and that is essential for the long term success of your joint replacement. 

    Another advantage is that older patients having a GA find it much more difficult to get the GA out of their system - and joint replacement patients tend to be older (not saying you are of course). For some patients it seems to affect their memory a bit and it can take a while for that to sort itself out. This doesn't happen with a spinal.

    It used to be that the surgeons didn't like having a patient who was awake - now they realise that a spinal plus sedation is far better than a GA both in the short and long term.

    There is less to be worried about with a spinal than with a GA - and as I say, you are probably going to be asleep anyway. I was awake all the way through my c-section - so I saw my daughter immediately. That was a bit different I know but it was a great experience. For the second one I had a GA - and it wasn't anything like as good, apart from any other consideration it took me days to feel well after the GA.

    It's a decision only you can make - but I honestly think you won't regret having a spinal.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    i had my right knee done 4 months ago with a spinal , and like you was scared , im now waiting for the other knee to be done the same way ,there really is nothing to worrie about , you are given a sedative so you done know whats going on, you sleep through it and are very relaxed , the worsed part is the pain after but its all well worth it , when you come out of theartre you feel so awake and not at all like you have just had surgery ,i still have some pain in the right knee but im waiting for the left one to be done ,and im told that till the other is done i wont get full benifit as im using the right to compermise the left .good luck you will be fine x

     

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Joanne. I had TKR 7 months ago and was expecting a GA but took the advice of the anaesthetist (he was a work colleague and I trusted him) and can honestly say I don't remember a thing! I was given a sedative which had the effect of me not remembering a thing. A GA can take its toll on your body and make your recovery harder. I would recommend the spinal. Good luck
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I too was worried about a spinal.....the aneathesist said why should I put all of you to sleep when I only need to put the bottom half to sleep?....took the plunge...once the spinal was in and he was feeding me happy juice thro my wrist...hey they could have cut my whole leg off!!!Positives....you feel great when it wears off...no sickness or nasty feelings and the whole exercise was dreamy and east...go for it!!
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I had TKR 4 months ago...had a spinal....no problems....I would recommend spinal over GA anyday!!
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Joanne,

    I too had a spinal three months ago when I had my right knee done. I was very apprehensive and asked not to be able to see or hear anything. I dont remember a thing and was sat up having a cup of tea immediately afterwards and taking phone calls from my family. No after effects. Would definitely recommend it, x

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi

    I had spinal injection.and did not feel any pain, but the noise of the cutiing and banging where disconcerting.  So although quite surreal and you are aware thee should not be any pain.

    Good Luck when you have your operationconfused

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Thanks for your replies I'm still waiting for a date and still contemplating what I'll do. I know the recovery will be quicker with spinal but the thought if being aware doesn't inspire me x
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    when you have had your tkr you will know what we all mean , also if your worried about noise and stuff all you need to do is ask for a seditive this should make you sleep through , you may have a little memorie of whats gone one but you are not really aware of it , im due to have my second one done and looking forward to it in a strange way , i know what to expect and really cant wait for feeling better , good luck and dont worrie x 
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I am due to have mine on 15th and feel exactly the same
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I am leaning towards a GA because I don'tdon't want to know anything about what is going on
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      You don't have to know what is going on - in the UK they give you a sedative so you sleep through it. The difference is that since you aren't having a GA you avoid the side effects and risks - GAs can cause considerable memory problems and confusion, particularly in older patients but also at any age. Believe me, you recover much much faster after a spinal plus sedation than you do with a GA and you don't feel anything like as poorly and sicky afterwards. 
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      You can be sedated. I was terrified of the spinal with my first knee, but was panicking for nothing. It didn't hurt and I didn't know anything that went on. I did it again with my second one. 
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    ive been there two times and would never entertain having a ga again , just like you i was scared ,but you will be amazed how easy it is and how much better you will feel afterwards ,trust what peopls are saying , no pain ,i was sleeping when i went into theater and still sleeping when i came out , stired once but thought ,i cant be bothered ,i was too tired and just shut my eyes . the 2 nd time i was more aware and saw the surgeon in the knock out room where we had a laugh , i remembered hearing them talking about holidays , and remember some one saying thats it job done as they took the blue sheets away , the surgeon walked passed and said your done now , the next  i remembered i was in recovery and the surgeon asking me how i was and what did i remember ,i told him about the holidays , he said that i wouldnt remember , but i did ,in all honesty nothing was a bad memorie , nothing was scary or uncomfey .if i had to do it all over again i wouldnt want to be sedated at all ,it really was that easy but the feelin of bein with it was great and wide awake for visitors . i had even watched the op on line and thought ewww i cant do that ,i did and dont regreat any part of it ,
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    It sounds like you need to have a read of my blog which I kept on the run up to, during and after my knee operation (TKR).....The 'spinal' was the thing that freaked me out the most before the op.  But the worry was all in my head.  It's nothing like your mind tells you it might be, and it's far better than a General Anaethetic.

    If you want the web address of my blog, send me a private message, as I'm not allowed to post it in here.

    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up