How To Manage Surgical Pain In Elderly Patients

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Older patients may not report pain due to the fear of further tests, the addition of supplemental medications or feeling intimidated by the knowledge and authority of the doctor.
When it comes to prescribing NSAIDs during the preoperative period, they do offer the benefits of an opioid-sparing effect and the potential to reduce postoperative inflammation. However, these medications are not without risks.
By Erwin Juda, DPM, R.Ph.

Final Notes

   The elderly are more vulnerable to inadequate pain control so it is important to encourage them to take a more proactive role in their health care. The goal of safe and effective pain management ideally begins by counseling and advising the older patient prior to surgery on what to expect. Understanding the characteristics of the aforementioned common analgesics should hopefully provide insight for the podiatric surgeon in selecting an appropriate analgesic for this age group.

Dr. Juda is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine. He is in private practice in Christiana, Del.


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