Opioid and Prescription Policy

All prescription medications should be used wisely.  Specifically, narcotic (opioid) medications are extremely addictive, and their use should be minimized to prevent postoperative complications and/or addiction

Background

  • An orthopedic surgical procedure is a substantial endeavor that oftentimes and predictably results in pain.  As your caretakers, we want you to have the most comfortable and manageable process possible after your surgery.  

  • It is important to know that numerous studies do support the use of opioid analgesics in the immediate post-operative phase, but in general these medications should not be taken longer than 5 to 7 days.  

  • In recent years, physicians including Orthopedic Surgeons have been prescribing these medication irresponsibly.  This has resulted in our nation's current opioid epidemic, and the statistics are staggering.  

  • Opioid overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in young adults. Opioids are associated with a higher risk of postoperative death. Opioids also increase the risk of fall and fracture in the elderly. 

  • Regular use—even as prescribed by a doctor—can lead to dependence and, when misused, opioid pain relievers can lead to overdose incidents and death.  

  • It is important to understand that some pain is to be expected following surgery.  Pain provides information, is temporary, and serves a purpose.  We will work together to control pain both reasonably and responsibly after your surgical procedure.  

Facts

  • The United States consumes 80% of the global opioid supply and 99% of the world's hydrocodone

  • Opioid abuse has increased 3-fold in recent years

  • U.S. opioid deaths are more common than motor vehicle accidents and suicides

  • 80 opioid-related deaths occur each day

Common Opioid Pain Medications

  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)

  • Oxycodone/Acetaminophen (Percocet)

  • Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen (Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Lorcet)

  • Codeine

  • Morphine (MS Contin)

  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)

  • Fentanyl (Duragesic)

Our Policy

  • We are empathetic to patients who have recently have surgery, and we promise to do everything possible that is safe and within the patient's best interest to help control pain symptoms.

  • Opioid medications are generally not prescribed before surgery for any medical condition.  Most sprains, strains, and fractures result in pain because of substantial inflammation (swelling), and opioid medications to not function as an anti-inflammatory.  Thus, they are not directly effective at treating the cause of the pain.  

  • In most cases, a potent anti-inflammatory is your best bet to get the inflammation down and decrease the pain.  If a procedure is performed, opioid medications will be prescribed for a maximum of two weeks.  

  • If you desire a longer course of opioid therapy, a referral to a pain management specialist can be made for you.​

Safe Disposal

  • Place unused opioids in a disposal unit in a pharmacy or police station; find a disposal site near you at this website: https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch

  • If no medicine take-back program is available in your area, you can flush them down the toilet or follow these simple steps to dispose of most medicine in the household trash:

    • mix medicine​ (do NOT crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such a kitty litter or used coffee grounds;

    • Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag; and

    • Throw the container in your household trash

    • Before throwing out your empty pill bottle or other empty medicine packing, remember to scratch out all information on the label to make it unreadable

Resources

Comments & Questions

Contact Information

Ortho.Boston 

145 Rosemary Street, Suite C

Needham Heights, MA  02494

Phone:  781-429-7700

Fax:  781-429-7701

Billing:  781-881-2189

E-mail:  team@ortho.boston

Hours

Monday - Friday:   8:30am - 5:00pm

Saturday:   By Appointment

Sunday:   Closed

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Ortho.Boston is a private Orthopedic Surgery practice located in Needham Heights, MA.

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