Bunions can cause knee problems, which in turn may lead to pain medication abuse
A new study reveals that knee replacement patients may be at risk of opioid dependency.
A team of researchers at the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopaedics at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore conducted a study which reveals that individuals who go under the knife for knee replacement surgery and are subsequently prescribed narcotic pain relievers may become dependent on the drugs, leading to longer hospital stays, unexplained pain and hindered function of the knee.
"This doesn't mean that opioid users shouldn't have the surgery," said principal investigator Michael A. Mont, M.D. "But those patients and their physicians should know that their results may not be as optimal. It might be possible that we can work with these patients to improve their surgical outcomes."
Several factors can cause degradation of the knee, including overuse, imbalanced landing mechanics stemming from bunions and aging.
Authors of the study said that efforts to help individuals have better outcomes following bunion surgery include alternatives to opioids and strategies to manage pain without medication.In order to reduce the risk of knee replacement surgery, individuals with bunions may want to consider bunion splints or orthotics, which are non-invasive, non-medicinal ways to help correct the bony deformities.