Managing Pain After Orthopedic Surgery, Part 2

After discussing the use of opioids for severe to moderate post-operative orthopedic pain in our last blog, now we will discuss the use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, or NSAIDS for short.  You might know these as ibuprofen (brand name: Advil/Motrin) or acetaminophen (brand name-Tylenol), or naproxen (brand name: Aleve/Naprosyn).  There are nearly two dozen NSAIDS in use.  These are used alone for mild to moderate post-operative pain and help by reducing swelling and soreness.  They are frequently used in conjunction with opioids to manage immediate post-operative pain and reduce post-operative swelling.  Advantages include: no chance of addiction and fewer side effects than opioids.  Some disadvantages: only for mild to moderate pain, chance of stomach upset/bleeding, and possible cardiac effects.  Studies are ongoing about how best to use these for post-operative pain control.  Unfortunately, there is no one, best way to solve the problem of pain after orthopedic surgery.

Managing Pain With Medications After Orthopaedic Surgery – OrthoInfo – AAOS