I’m taking opioids now or thinking of taking them.
I'm not sure I'm taking opioids. What are opioids?
Should I be taking opioids for hip or knee arthritis pain? What are the risks?
People who are taking opioids and have joint replacement surgery are at increased risk for complications after surgery. These risks include infection, needing a second surgery and becoming dependent on opioids. It can also be much more challenging to control pain after surgery, and chances are greater that you won’t be satisfied with the results of your surgery.
Read this article, “Opioid Use Before Hip or Knee Surgery Can Mean Trouble.”
If you are currently taking opioids for arthritis related pain, you should work with your doctor to develop a plan to wean off opioids.
Can I take opioids for pain before my joint replacement surgery and then stop after surgery?
It is important to discuss this subject with your physician and work together as a team to develop an opioid-free plan that works best for you.
I just had joint replacement surgery and was prescribed an opioid for pain. Can I take something else instead?
Where should I store my opioid pain medication? And how do I get rid of leftover medication?
Leftover opioid pills should be discarded as soon as possible. For a list of best choices for disposal of unused or expired medicines, visit the FDA’s website.
I’m caring for someone who needs pain relief.
What is the AAHKS position on prescribing opioids?
Opioids, when compared to non-opioid medications, do not provide superior long-term pain relief when used for the treatment of hip and knee arthritis. The use of opioids for treatment of hip and knee arthritis, especially prior to surgery, must be questioned.
My patient has osteoarthritis. What's the best way to manage pain?
As an alternative to opioids, orthopaedic surgeons and other providers of musculoskeletal care should strongly consider the recommendations of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Clinical Practice Guidelines on nonsurgical treatment and non-arthroplasty treatment of hip and knee arthritis.
Non-opioid treatments have failed, and opioids are the only option. Is there a safe prescribing protocol?
The fewest number of opioids in the lowest dose, and for the shortest time possible should be prescribed.
For patients who may require more prolonged opioid use, strong consideration should be given to referral to a pain management specialist.
Patients should be educated on safe storage of opioid pain medications and proper disposal when opioids are no longer needed.
Help from the Medical Community
Educate Yourself on Opioid Use
- What are opioids?
- Will taking opioids affect the outcome of my joint surgery?
- If I can’t take opioids for pain, what can I take?
Read the article online.