Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Narcotic pain medications and joint replacement surgery JBJS - Oxycontin

A recent study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery compared the results of total knee replacement for patients who chronically used narcotic pain medications with those who did not.
The authors found that chronic users of narcotics had much more difficulty recovering, longer hospital stays, more post-surgical pain, a higher rate of complications, and were more likely to need additional procedures than patients who were not opioid-dependent.

While this study did not directly concern patients having shoulder joint replacement, there is every reason to believe that similar findings might be found with patients having total shoulder arthroplasty.

It is important that surgeons and patients recognize this potential relationship and consider a formal approach to narcotic management over the long haul, detoxification to use of alternative forms of pain management, and considerations of withholding this elective surgery until the pain management program was firmly in place.


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