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Post-Operative Pain Management

The United States has historically consumed 99% of the world’s narcotic supply!

Did you know?

  • In 1990, approximately  627,000 people used narcotics recreationally for the first time. By 2005, that number tripled to 2.2 million recreational users.
  • In the United States, overdose is the #1 cause of death in young adults age 25-45.
  • Factors that predict higher use of narcotics include anxiety, depression, smoking, and previous narcotics use.​
  • In the US alone, in 2017, there were 70,000 overdose deaths. 2/3s of these were associated with opioids.

**The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently emphasized that “a prescription must be issued for a legitimate medical purpose by a registered physician acting within the usual course of professional practice.” Online databases have recently debuted to track physician narcotic prescriptions.

Tylenol and NSAIDs
(such as ibuprofen)
can generally be safely taken together and have been shown to provide substantial pain relief with less addictive potential
Our practice wants to insure that our patients have adequate pain relief. For this reason, we do sometimes prescribe reasonable amounts narcotic pain medications in the postoperative period.  However, out of respect for the protection of our patients and their families, we follow standard pain management protocols. Office policies restrict our staff from deviating from these protocols. The medication limits we abide by are liberal enough that nearly all of our patients find they require less amounts of the pain medications than they have been given.  In fact, many of our patients report that they required no narcotics whatsoever. Prescriptions will be given to you in the hospital or office setting or transferred directly to your pharmacy. Prescriptions after are not called in after normal business hours.
During your healing process:
  • Maintain a positive attitude.

  • Establish relaxation and distraction techniques to calm anxiety. 

  • Participate in daily exercises if able to do so. 

  • Establish a routine to avoid frustration as normal activities may take more time. 

  • Move surrounding joints multiple times daily to avoid stiffness and discomfort.

  • Elevate the injured extremity to decrease swelling and discomfort.

  • If you have an external fixator, keep the pin sites clean to decrease irritation.

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