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The Effects of Preoperative Patient Education on Opioid Use After Orthopaedic Surgery

Mary K. Mulcahey, MD, FAAOS, Social Media Section Editor for OrthoInfo, interviews Luke S. Austin, MD, FAAOS, about his research paper on the effect that preoperative education has on opioid  consumption in patients undergoing arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. 

Dr. Austin's study determined that patients who were educated by their surgeons about the risks of opioid use consumed, on average, 19%, 33% and 43% fewer narcotics than the control group at the 2-week, 6-week and 3-month follow-up points, respectively. 

Dr. Austin and Dr. Mulcahey also discuss the wide range of pain relief strategies that orthopaedic surgeons use to help their patients after surgery.


Dr. Mulcahey is a sports medicine surgeon at Tulane University School of Medicine and Dr. Austin is a shoulder and elbow surgeon at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Last Reviewed

September 2021

Contributed and/or Updated by

Mary K. Mulcahey, MD, FAAOS

Peer-Reviewed by

Thomas Ward Throckmorton, MD, FAAOS

AAOS does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products, or physicians referenced herein. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific orthopaedic advice or assistance should consult his or her orthopaedic surgeon, or locate one in your area through the AAOS Find an Orthopaedist program on this website.