Editorial Commentary: Hip Arthroscopists Can Reduce Postoperative Opioid Use

Ashley Disantis, Duquesne University.
RobRoy Martin, Duquesne University; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.


Despite the harrowing opioid crisis in the United States, the use of opioids to combat musculoskeletal pain continues to be widespread. In the setting of hip arthroscopy, approximately one-third of patients are on opioids while awaiting surgery to address the pain that results from femoracetabular impingement syndrome. In addition, the use of opioids to address pain postoperatively is common practice. With the rapid rise of hip arthroscopy in the United States, it is paramount that other modes of pain relief are promoted by surgeons in conjunction with allied health professionals, such as physical therapists. In fact, early physical therapy has been shown to decrease the use of postoperative opioids by 10%. The use of complementary and alternative therapies should be common practice in the in the orthopaedic setting to assist in reducing the number of opioids used for both pre and postoperative pain management. While this may be a small piece of the opioid crisis puzzle, it is up to all of us in the medical community to do our part and change the direction of the current opioid crisis.