Patient Information Resources

Centre for Orthopaedics
Suite 10-33/34/35 Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
38 Irrawaddy Road
Singapore, 329563, Singapore
Ph: (65) 6684 5828
Fax: (65) 6684 5829

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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We are trying to help our father navigate the health care system after a bad car accident. He's in so much pain from fractured ribs and a bad back now made worse. The doctor has put him on an opioid-based medication. What other treatment is there? We'd like to get him off this drug before he gets addicted.

It's a natural concern to be worried about the possibility of drug misuse, abuse, dependence, and ultimately, addiction. But, in fact, these medications can be used quite effectively to reduce pain and get patients up on their feet and moving and functioning. Your father is probably fairly safe taking a narcotic for pain control if he doesn't have any of the major risk factors for drug abuse. The strongest risk factor for drug misuse is a previous history of alcohol or other drug abuse. Previous episodes of driving under the influence (DUI), a criminal history, and young age are three other likely predictors of drug misuse. Other treatment options for acute and chronic pain may include other, weaker pain medications, acupuncture, and physical therapy. Many pain management experts advise a combination of all three. Since pain is often a multidimensional condition, a multidisciplinary approach may combat it best. Psychologic therapy can be helpful. In some cases, surgical intervention may be needed.


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