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VIDEO: Improving Opioid Prescribing Patterns for Orthopedic Trauma Patients

In This Article

  • Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon Marilyn Heng, MD, is working to develop a more objective, rational method of prescribing opioids for orthopedic trauma surgery patients at discharge
  • Her recent study utilized a regression algorithm to determine an objective starting point for opioid prescriptions for certain types of fracture surgery
  • Dr. Heng advises seeking other modalities to mitigate the amount of opioids prescribed to patients

At the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting 2018, Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon Marilyn Heng, MD, presented her poster “An Analysis of Initial Post-Operative Prescribing Patterns in Orthopaedic Trauma and a Technique to Determine Prescribing Guidelines.”

Dr. Heng reviewed 13 years of data evaluating opioid prescriptions at discharge for opioid naïve orthopedic fracture surgery patients. Her goal was to take an objective look at prescribing patterns for orthopedic trauma surgery patients, and she discovered variations in opioid prescribing patterns depending upon the type of fracture surgery.

Dr. Heng then created a regression algorithm that she utilized to develop opioid prescribing guidelines for discharge depending upon the patient’s fracture type. The guidelines are meant to serve as a starting point for orthopedic trauma surgeons’ discharge prescriptions.

In order to mitigate the amount of opioids prescribed, Dr. Heng advises seeking alternatives for management of patients’ pain.

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