Anita Oberlander

Although Anita Oberlander had already had orthopedic surgery to replace both knees, she was determined that the third surgery needed to replace her hip would be managed in a new way. Uncomfortable with the way that medications made her feel during recovery, Anita asked her orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Rifat Zaidi, to find a solution for pain management that would not involve the use of opioids, as they made her feel confused and dizzy.

After extensive research, Dr. Zaidi identified a non-opioid medication called Exparel and Anita became the first LincolnHealth patient to use Exparel as part of her joint replacement.

“Unlike opioids, which affect the entire body, Exparel only works in your body where you had surgery,” explained Lincoln Medical Partners orthopedic surgeon Rifat Zaidi, MD. “Here in one of the oldest counties in the United States it was vital to find a way to reduce pain after surgeries without using opioids. Opioids can really cause havoc for those over the age of 65 who are likely already on other medications. If you can avoid the opioid, you can help avoid unwanted effects such as increased confusion, decreased blood pressure, constipation, and more, and hopefully patients are able to go home sooner” said Dr. Zaidi.

By 6:00 pm the day of her hip replacement, Anita was able to stand on her own with minimal discomfort and was alert as if she had taken no medication at all. The next day she walked down the hall just gently holding on to Dr. Zaidi’s arm. “It is a wonderful thing to know I didn’t need any opioids after my surgery,” Anita said. And, just a few months later, she had resumed all of the activities she has enjoyed her entire life as an avid gardener and outdoor enthusiast.