Replacing long-acting with immediate-release opioids after total knee replacement surgery resulted in comparable pain management but less nausea-medication usage and less need for residential rehabilitation after hospital discharge. The results of this small study, a Rutgers Nursing doctoral program project for lead author Anoush Kalachian, support a broader trend toward better management of prescription opioids  which directly resulted in the deaths of nearly 17,000 Americans in 2021 and can spur the use of illegal opioids.

Widespread changes in opioid use patterns for knee replacement patients would have a significant impact on total prescription numbers. American surgeons replace roughly 790,000 knees per year, according to the American College of Rheumatology. To read the full story.