Advancing the Science

Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog – an eclectic collection of research- and research education-related stories: feature stories, mini news bites, learning opportunities, profiles and more from Mayo Clinic.


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Aug 5, 2017 · Mayo researchers seek to manage pain while minimizing opioid prescriptions

I had two major orthopedic surgeries three years ago. I was prescribed opioids for post-op pain. I needed them. I took them for about ten days for the first surgery and a little longer for the second–perhaps 2.5 weeks. I was prescribed a 30 day supply in each case, which I thought was perfectly adequate. I still have some left over. In spite of being in pain since the surgeries, I haven’t felt the slightest desire to take an opioid, but I would be terrified of any further surgery without effective post op pain relief for more than 7 days. It’s just a crying shame that the medical community is depriving people of pain relief when they actually need it, because of others’ abuse. Prescription should be on an individual basis. I’m way past middle age and have no addictive tendencies, nor any history of drug abuse. This should be evaluated, rather than a blanket protocol applied that would mean horrible pain for me and millions like me. Not every surgical patient is at risk of going out on the streets to look for opioids because they’ve been prescribed them one time for post-op pain.

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