Addressing the Opioid Epidemic With Multimodal Pain Management

Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 2016 Nov/Dec;45(7):S6-S8.


The opioid epidemic has become a national public health and safety problem affecting both adults and adolescents. There is little doubt that this epidemic is rooted in the need for pain control after surgery and that orthopedic surgeons have in part contributed to opioid overprescription. Indeed, opioid abuse, misuse, and diversion are associated with increased hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and associated health care costs. In addition, postoperative exposure to opioids correlates with long-term use and abuse.Moreover, opioid-related adverse effects are the leading cause of preventable harm in hospitals and can result in unexpected death. As such, there is an urgent need to address the opioid epidemic. Toward that end, several professional and governmental organizations have recommended opioid-sparing pain management approaches for surgeries-approaches that target different pain pathways to achieve adequate pain control. Such multimodal analgesia approaches are expected to reduce the writing of postoperative opioid prescriptions and their related adverse effects.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / etiology*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Pain Management / adverse effects*


  • Analgesics, Opioid