Orthopedic surgery and opioid pain killers
Opioids: Common pain killers for orthopedic surgery
Opioids are commonly prescribed pain killers for orthopedic surgeries. Although opioids are good pain killers, they are also narcotics and put the patient at risk of addiction.
Grant Hill, a champion of the “Choices Matter” campaign encouraging alternative pain management treatments, raises awareness about the opioid crisis. Hill underwent 11 surgeries during his 19-year career in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Orthopedic surgeries have been increasing
A significant number of youth who require an ACL surgery need another non-ACL knee operation later. According to numerous reports, the total number of ACL surgeries has increased over the past twenty years.
Researchers found in a study referred to in “Choices Matter” campaign literature, that there were 260 million opioid prescriptions filled in the US in 2012, which was four times as many as in 1999. After this study, reports have indicated a decrease in opioid prescriptions.
The problem of Opioid addictions remains an epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 60 percent of drug overdose deaths in the US involve opioids.
Side effects of opioid addiction
- Unconsciousness or unresponsiveness
- Shallow breathing or no breathing
- Pinpoint pupils
Preventing surgeries can help the opioid crisis
Surgery is considered a “driver” of the opioid epidemic in the United States. Certainly use of alternative pain killers can help however, reducing or preventing the number of surgeries can definitely impact the opioid crisis.
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