In November 2019, OrthoBuzz promised readers more details from the Pain Management Research Symposium held that month (see related post), which was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). Those details are now available in the form of a JBJS Supplement containing 12 articles generated from that convening of > 30 orthopaedic researchers and journal editors. The Symposium focused on the unique challenges of designing studies that will answer pressing questions about pain management related to musculoskeletal conditions and procedures.
The content of this open-access Supplement ranges from subspecialty-specific considerations in pain management to “complementary medicine” approaches. It culminates in 7 key “Recommendations for Pain Management Research,” all targeted to identifying effective pain-management strategies, not just elimination of opioids. Among those recommendations are the following:
- Define all terms (such as “long-term opioid use”) precisely.
- Quantify opioid use in morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs), and state how MMEs were calculated.
- Precisely define the study population (including age, sex, and socioeconomic and cultural characteristics).
- Mental/emotional risk factors–including depression, catastrophizing, expectations, and coping ability–should be studied.
- Outcome measures should be patient-related, not just the number of pills taken.
JBJS would again like to thank NIAMS for its support and all Symposium participants and Supplement authors for their time and energy.