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The Elderly and Opioid Use Following Surgery… New Findings

It is not uncommon for muscular-skeletal problems to multiply as we age – sometimes requiring surgery.

The most common problem, osteoarthritis, affects one in four Americans, particularly older Americans.

The most common arthritis-related surgeries?

Knee and hip replacement.

The other common problem?

Hip fractures.

The most common drug therapy used during rehabilitation?

Opioids.

In data just released at a conference of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, researchers identified a clear risk to the prolonged use of these drugs in the elderly. The team analyzed data on 29,618 patients new to opioid drugs age 60 and older.

When looking at hip fracture patients alone, the research team found that one in six of these elderly patients were still taking opioids three to six months following their surgery.

Three to six months later… stunning.

The lead researcher on the project, Dr. Kanu Okike MD, said this about the findings…"While most of the concerns and opioid usage research in elderly individuals have centered on short-term risks, such as oversedation and delirium, our findings suggest that prolonged opioid usage is an important concern in this older population, just as in the younger trauma populations."

We quite agree. The time has come and gone for this madness to stop.

If you're struggling with an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs and need help in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Florida, Southern Maine, and Indiana, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. Our unique model of care is giving clients a significantly better chance of recovery when compared to traditional inpatient rehab care. To learn more, please contact one of our Recovery Specialists.

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