Jun 19, 2020
Managing Pain After Sports Medicine Surgery

A new study suggests athletes who underwent knee surgery and other various types of sports medicine procedures could deal with their pain without the use of opioids or a minimal dosage.

The study, published in the Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery, was conducted by Henry Ford Hospital, aimed to determine whether postsurgical pain following common sports procedures could be managed with a nonopioid multimodal analgesic protocol that relies more on non-steroid and anti-inflammatory medicine, according to an article on Newswise.com.

sports medicine
Photo: Wesley Sykes / Great American Media Services

“This is a large prospective study and our hope is that non-opioid use will gain momentum and that others may tweak our protocol and use it throughout orthopedics, from joint surgery to spine surgery and other surgeries” Vasilios (Bill) Moutzouros, M.D., chief of Sports Medicine, a division of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and the study’s lead author, told Newswise. “We hope that we are helping to change practices not just in sports medicine surgery but in all surgery.”

The results showed that 45 percent of the 141 patients who underwent surgery between May and December of 2018 for ACL reconstruction, shoulder and rotator cuff repairs, or torn meniscus displayed low levels of pain that were effectively managed by the regimen.

Drowsiness was the only side effect reported by patients, according to study, and all 141 patients stated they were satisfied with how their post-surgery pain was managed.

Even though patients were prescribed oxycodone as part of their regimen, none used it for pain control. Researchers say the regimen appeared to be essentially multiplicative, alleviating the need for patients to take the oxycodone.

Patients who required opioids were more likely to have a history of anxiety/depression and reported higher pain scores than those who didn’t need to take them.

» ALSO SEE: Sports Injury Risk Management

“This kind of research has the potential to decrease opioid use in the general population as we find that many patients who abuse opioids started using them after a surgery and got hooked on them. It starts with the more common surgeries. By eliminating surgical opioid use, we are contributing to the reduction in opioids, which helps decrease dependence,” Kelechi Okoroha, M.D., a Henry Ford sports medicine physician and a study co-author, told Newswise.

To read the full story from Newswise.com on the Henry Ford study on managing pain in post-sports medicine surgeries, click here

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