85% of orthopedic surgery patients who stopped taking opioids 4 weeks postop still had extra pills: 5 things to know

Practice Management

Johns Hopkins University researchers recently published a study on how orthopedic surgery patients use their prescription pain medications after surgery, according to the Town of Morningside Maryland.


The researchers interviewed 93 patients who underwent orthopedic surgery and found:


1. Eighty-five percent of the patients that had stopped taking pain medications still had them at home four weeks after the procedure.


2. Most patients had a large number of pills leftover, with 28 percent reporting 20 or more tablets.


3. Around 24 percent reported keeping pain medication doses at least 200 morphine-equivalent.


4. One-fifth of the patient reported they stopped taking their pain medications on the second day after surgery.


5. Most of the patients reported they were satisfied with their pain management after surgery. Seventeen percent felt they were prescribed too many pills and 27 percent had to request refills within the first two weeks after surgery.


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