- Stopped using opioids regularly and only used intermittently with decreasing frequency
- Appropriately continued to use non-steroidal medication before dance practice to reduce likelihood of pain afterwards
- She now attends college as a freshman with essentially no residual pain
- She decided to give up organized dancing because of some limitation in her movements but not because of pain
Pain Information and Reassurance After Surgery
- Patients and their family need to be told that pain may occur intermittently as a normal part of surgical recovery with increasing activity.
- Patients should be encouraged to treat episodes with local therapy (heat or ice) and non-opioid analgesics (acetaminophen or NSAIDs) before taking an opioid.
- A small amount of opioid should continue to be available for up to several months after a major surgery in case the pain becomes severe.
- Severe pain lasting longer than expected should prompt contact with the health care team.
Summary for Opioid Abuse
- 7-20% of adolescents and 20-50% of young adults ages 18-25 have taken opioids for non-medical reasons (Buck, M., 2016)
- Opioid analgesics are the class of controlled medications most likely to be misused and abused by adolescents (Young, A. et al., 2012)
- Monitoring for the potential of liking the medication independent of the pain relief, should be a routine part of postoperative care
- Courtney didn’t like the side effects of opioids, as seen in this module
- As with Courtney, the majority of post-surgical patients go on to lead normal lives