Divergence in actual use and registration of analgetics among orthopedic pain patients

Insufficient postoperative pain treatment is a well-documented problem, especially for patients with chronic pain. At Silkeborg Regional Hospital, patients with chronic pain, undergoing orthopedic surgery, is referred to a specialized pain team, who collects individual, pre-surgical reports of analgesic consumption by phone.

We compared the clinic registration of analgesics with the patient reported analgesic consumption and found a divergence in 23 of 43 patients (40%). This divergence was specified as three types; divergence in dose (26%), drug divergence (43%) and both dose – and drug divergence (30%). The proportion of patients referred to the pain team because of opioid consumption > 80 mg/day, was significantly higher in the group with divergence compared to the remaining patients referred to the pain team (p < 0.05).

Based on the identified medicine divergence, this study suggests that a preoperative pain team intervention may prevent post-operative insufficient pain management in patients with chronic pain.

Keywords: analgesics administration, chronic pain, orthopedic, pain management,  patient involvement