Managing Pain With Fewer Opioids After Joint Replacement

From - March 14, 2018

Managing Pain With Fewer Opioids After Joint Replacement

WEDNESDAY, March 14, 2018 -- Using two or more pain control methods after hip and knee replacement surgery rather than opioid painkillers alone reduces risks to patients, a new study finds.

"Patients need to be aware that there are ways to treat their pain during and after surgery in addition to opioids," said study author Dr. Stavros Memtsoudis.

"If the doctor prescribes more than one type of medicine for your pain, it may reduce your need for opioids," added Memtsoudis, a senior scientist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription opioids such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone) are a driving force in the 16-year increase in opioid overdose deaths in the United States.

For this study, researchers analyzed pain control among more than 512,000 total hip replacement patients and more than 1 million total knee replacement patients at 546 U.S. hospitals between 2006 and 2016.

Patients who received more than two types of pain management in addition to opioids had almost 20 percent fewer opioid prescriptions after surgery, the study found.

They also had fewer respiratory complications, fewer gastrointestinal complications and shorter hospital stays, compared to patients who received opioids alone.

Continue reading at »