Methods of Pain Management

Abstract

The goals of effective pain control in orthopaedic surgery are to meet the humanitarian need for pain relief and to facilitate the patient’s rehabilitation and return to normal function. A variety of pharmacologic pain management options is available, including oral and intravenous opioids, patient-controlled analgesia, epidural injections, neural blocks, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition, nonpharmacologic approaches, including transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, acupuncture, and medical hypnosis, are burgeoning as orthopaedic surgeons and patients increasingly adopt alternative pain control methods to supplement conventional medicine. Ultimately, a multimodal approach to pain management is often the best option for the patient, as it allows the orthopaedic surgeon to tailor an appropriate, individualized prescription.

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