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Dr  Anna N.M.D.
Dr Anna N.M.D., Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 154
Experience:  18 years medical family practice. expert in family medicine and also integrative modalities.
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My 88 year old mother had hip replacement surgery a week ago

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My 88 year old mother had hip replacement surgery a week ago after falling and breaking her hip. Both before and after the surger she was given morphine for pain control. She suffered typical morphine side effects including confusion. She is now off the morphine but the confusion continues. Is this normal? How long could confusion from morphine last?

DearCustomer If your mother was given a general anaesthesia (vs a spinal block) which I am sure she was, it was more likely the combination of anaesthetic agents and drugs that linger and may cause confusion for up to 6-8 weeks, especially in the elderly, but the effect will wear off eventually. This is much more like that the morphine causing her symptoms.


Hope this helps.


Dr Anna

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Actually, it was a spinal block that was used to anesthetize her. She had a bit of dimentia - i.e. repeating herself and minor confusion especially when she was tired - before the surgery. But the symptoms since the surgery are more pronounced - such as confusion about the treatment plan to get her back to walking, not recognizing a friend that she sees daily, thinking that the nurses all have an aboriginal background. It is quite alarming to me.

DearCustomer What I've learned from medscape is that there is little difference in post surgical confusion with spinal block vs general anaesthesia. There's much more in this article that we need, but it addresses what statement I've just made: and the American Society of Anesthesia describes post surgical confusion in the elderly in this article at which states that only 10% of the postsurgical cases of cognitive declilne do not recover by 3 mths. So, back to my original estimate of 6-8 weeks, this seems like a reasonable expected recovery time for your mother post surgically.


Dr Anna





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