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Interdisciplinary Mitigation of Opioid Misuse in Musculoskeletal Patients

  • Saigal, Ammar N.1, 2
  • Jones, Henderson M.3
  • 1 Weill Cornell Medicine, Department of Surgery, 1320 York Avenue, Apt. # 28A, New York, NY, 10021, USA , New York (United States)
  • 2 Hospital for Special Surgery, Healthcare Research Institute, New York, NY, USA , New York (United States)
  • 3 Dell Medical School, Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care, Austin, TX, USA , Austin (United States)
Published Article
HSS Journal ®
Springer US
Publication Date
Dec 10, 2018
DOI: 10.1007/s11420-018-09656-w
Springer Nature


BackgroundThe opioid prescribing patterns of orthopedic surgeons have been shown to play a role in exacerbating rates of opioid misuse among post-surgical patients. Demonstrable success has been appreciated by combining policy-level approaches and clinical education–based strategies to inform patients of alternative modalities of post-operative analgesia.Questions/PurposesThe purpose of this review was to address two questions: What are the most substantiated measures orthopedic surgeons can take to limit opioid misuse or addiction among their patients? What advantages are gained in orthopedic surgeons’ collaborating with other healthcare professionals with influence over patients’ post-operative opioid exposure?MethodsWe searched two databases for articles on multidisciplinary policy–based solutions to mitigating the opioid overdose crisis among musculoskeletal patients. Articles produced from the search were searched for further evidence supporting the use of standardized clinical and administrative protocols in mitigating opioid misuse within this patient population. Successful approaches to mitigating misuse of opioids in this demographic were synthesized from recurring themes in the studies.ResultsMultiple articles support orthopedic surgeons being aware of the risk factors for chronic opioid use among their patients, as well as multidisciplinary strategies involving orthopedic surgeons and other healthcare/governmental professionals to address the burden of the opioid crisis on surgical patients.ConclusionsAddressing the misuse of opioids among orthopedic patients requires appropriate prescribing practices and long-term support of patients. Collaboration between surgeons and policymaking entities is recognized as an effective population-wide approach to preventing opioid dependence, misuse, and addiction.

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