Pediatric patients used fewer narcotic doses than prescribed after orthopedic surgery

September 02, 2021

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Source/Disclosures Published by:

Source:

Willimon SC, et al. Paper 489. Presented at: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting. August 31 – September 3, 2021; San Diego.

disclosures:
Willimon does not report any relevant financial disclosures.

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SAN DIEGO — Pediatric patients used significantly fewer narcotic doses after common orthopedic surgery than prescribed amounts, according to results presented at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons’ annual meeting.

S. Clifton Willimon, MD, and colleagues collected data on narcotic and OTC drug use, as well as associated pain scores, in 342 children and adolescents who underwent one of seven common pediatric orthopedic procedures. These procedures include posterior spinal fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, epiphysiodesis, closed reduction and percutaneous pinning of supracondylar humeral fracture, ACL reconstruction, knee arthroscopy, shoulder arthroscopy for labral repair, and hip arthroscopy for femoroacetabular impingement.

Of the 9,867 narcotic doses prescribed, Willimon found that 44% of the narcotic doses were consumed, while 56% of the narcotic doses remained unused.

“Patients typically took numbing medications for 3 to 5 days after surgery,” Willimon, a sports medicine and orthopedic surgeon at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, told Healio Orthopedics.

According to Willimon, patients taking NSAIDs had a significant reduction in the total number of narcotic doses consumed. He added that patient education reduced the duration of narcotic use.

“The second phase of the study is to provide a systematic approach to education for patients and families, as well as the physicians caring for the patients, and also the nursing staff,” Willimon said. “It’s a team effort to make sure we’re all on the same page and understand how to appropriately use and dispose of the drugs.”

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Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

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