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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I tried taking methadone for my addiction but was switched to a different drug, buprenorphine. This drug seems to be working for me and I take it every day. The problem is, I wrecked my knee and am supposed to have surgery. How can I convince the hospital staff if I really have pain and they won't think I'm just wanting the drugs?

A patient with a history of drug abuse and addiction can be hard to treat for pain after surgery because there is often the lingering fear of the patient getting addicted again. That being said, you should not be suffering from pain if you don't have to be. Patients who take buprenorphine for addiction are able to have surgery and be treated, although the treatment has to be done by a doctor who understands how the medications work with each other.

Buprenorphine is also given for pain relief, so if you are already taking it, the surgical pain might be manageable just by changing the doses of the medication. If you experience what is called break-through pain, pain that happens despite taking pain killers, there are some types of medications that your doctor can order that will be given over a short-term.


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