September is Pain Awareness Month: Orthopaedic surgeons offer tips for safely managing pain, disposing of prescription pain medications and minimizing opioid use

September is Pain Awareness Month: Orthopaedic surgeons offer tips for safely managing pain, disposing of prescription pain medications and minimizing opioid use

ROSEMONT, Ill.—September is Pain Awareness Month, and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) is offering comprehensive tips for safe and effective pain relief, and safe disposal of prescription pain medications, to help minimize opioid use and misuse.

“Today, we are in the midst of an opioid crisis,” said David Ring, MD, PhD, chair of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Committee on Patient Safety. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 12.5 million Americans misused prescription opioids in 2015, and approximately 15,281 overdose deaths were attributed to commonly prescribed opioids.

“Orthopaedic surgeons, along with other physicians and health care professionals, are working diligently and collectively to reduce the strength and number of opioid pills prescribed for patients, and to change the patient-doctor conversation regarding pain: how pain can be safely managed with non-opioid medications, therapies and coping strategies; and the potential danger for opioid misuse.”
 
The AAOS recently launched a multi-faceted prescription safety campaign that includes print, outdoor and radio public service announcements (PSA), a patient information page at OrthoInfo.org/Prescription Safety, and an online physician tool kit.
 
In addition, the AAOS offers tips for safely managing pain and disposing of pain medications when they are no longer needed:
Doctor and patient safety efforts are beginning to take hold. According to a recent report, orthopaedic surgeons have dispensed 13 percent fewer opioid prescriptions over the last three years. In addition, a growing body of research is supporting the effectiveness of alternative treatments. 

“But we have much work left to do,” said Dr. Ring. “Orthopaedic surgeons want patients and their families to join us in preventing opioid misuse—this month and throughout the year.”
 
For more information on prescription safety, visit OrthoInfo.org/Prescription Safety.

More Information about the AAOS
With more than 38,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS provides educational programs for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals, champions and advances the highest quality musculoskeletal care for patients, and is the authoritative source of information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related issues. 

Visit AAOS, at:
Newsroom.aaos.org for bone and joint health news, stats, facts, images and interview requests.
ANationinMotion.org for inspirational patient stories, and orthopaedic surgeon tips on maintaining bone and joint health, avoiding injuries, treating musculoskeletal conditions and navigating recovery.
Orthoinfo.org for patient information on hundreds of orthopaedic diseases and conditions.
Facebook.org/AAOS1
Twitter.com/AAOS1   
 

Contact(s):
Sheryl Cash
phone: 847-384-4032
email: scash@aaos.org

Lauren Pearson Riley
phone: 847-384-4031
email: pearson@aaos.org