| opioids

Postsurgical Pain Management: No or Minimal Opioids

A “Practice Changing” Study

Newswise — A Henry Ford Hospital study published in the Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery has found that patients who underwent knee surgery and other types of sports medicine procedures could manage their pain without opioids or a minimal dosage.

The purpose of the prospective study was to determine whether postsurgical pain following common sports medicine procedures could be managed effectively with a nonopioid multimodal analgesic protocol that relies more on non-steroid and anti-inflammatory medicine. It included 141 patients who underwent surgery between May and December 2018 for ACL reconstruction, shoulder and rotator cuff repairs or a torn knee meniscus. The study is the first in a series by Henry Ford researchers examining the issue.

Researchers found that 45 percent of patients had low levels of pain that was effectively managed by the regimen. Drowsiness was the only side effect reported by patients. All 141 patients were satisfied with how their post-surgery pain was managed by their doctor.

Even though patients were prescribed oxycodone as part of their regimen, none used it for pain control. Researchers say the regimen appeared to be essentially multiplicative, alleviating the need for patients to take the oxycodone.

“This kind of research has the potential to decrease opioid use in the general population as we find that many patients who abuse opioids started using them after a surgery and got hooked on them. It starts with the more common surgeries. By eliminating surgical opioid use...

“There are currently no protocols that completely eliminate opioid use,” he says. “This study strongly suggests that eliminating opioids postoperatively is actually possible.”

“It’s a practice changing study,” Dr. Moutzouros says. “This type of research allows physicians to look at how we manage pain differently in the post-surgical environment. It allows us to change our practices and become safer. What we’re trying to do is support each individual patient and reassure them that we are going to prescribe little if any opioids for their pain control to mitigate or eliminate a potential for addiction.”

 

Read the full press release on Newswise.

 

Sign-Up

Sign-up for the PAINWeek Newsletter
and get our latest articles and more directly in your inbox.