Early administration of oral morphine to orthopedic patients after surgery

Ruth Zaslansky, DSc, Elon Eisenberg, MD, Bezalel Peskin, MD, Elliot Sprecher, PhD, Daniel N. Reis, MD, Chaim Zinman, MD, Silviu Brill, MD

Abstract


Current pain treatment guidelines advise against providing analgesics for postoperative pain using intramuscular injections, as this generally provides poor pain relief. However, this route remains the most prevalent treatment method. Intravenous or epidural patient-controlled-analgesia methods reduce pain effectively but are expensive, labor intensive, and available to only a limited number of patients. We propose administering the analgesics using oral analgesics and have developed a simple protocol for treating postoperative pain by use of oral morphine. After a variety of orthopedic surgeries, patients were given “around-the-clock,” oral, immediate-release morphine. Efficacy of the treatment (pain scores and adverse effects) was assessed 24 ± 2 hours after surgery. Data were collected prospectively from 95 patients, who received an average of 61 ± 30 (SD) mg morphine. Average pain scores were 2.4/10 (± 1.4) at rest and 4.0/10 (± 1.4) during movement in bed. Nausea and vomiting, the most common adverse effects, were reported by 22 (23 percent) patients. Naloxone was not administered to any of the patients. Oral morphine given in the early postoperative time to patients after a variety of orthopedic surgeries was effective and safe.

Keywords


postoperative pain, oral analgesics, oral morphine, orthopedic surgery

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jom.2006.0014

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