Chronic Pain — 15 October 2013

By Pat Anson, Editor

Over half of the patients who used opioid painkillers to relieve back pain were still using them a year after surgery to repair their spines, according to a new study that raised concerns about the long-term use of opioids.

The small study, one of the first to study postoperative opioid use after spine surgery, followed 172 patients for 12 months after elective cervical spine surgery. Patients were asked about their opioid use both before and after the surgeries.

Researchers found that 51 percent of the patients who were using opioids before the surgery still were using the drugs a year later. And among those who were not using opioids before surgery, nearly 18% were using them one year later. Overall, 55 patients or 32% were using opioids a year after their surgeries.

Read more at National Pain Report.


About Author

Pat Anson, Editor

Pat is Editor in Chief of American News Report. He is a veteran journalist and a former correspondent and producer for HealthWeek (PBS), Nightly Business Report (PBS) and other nationally syndicated shows. Pat has won numerous journalism awards, including a Golden Mike award for investigative reporting.

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