Local docs ‘freezing’ out opioid addiction with new pain treatment
March 23, 2018
Opioid abuse is a national epidemic, but local doctors are fighting back.
Memphis-based Campbell Clinic, which has several locations throughout the region, typically maintains about 120 clinical projects. And, because of the opioid epidemic, several of the group’s projects over the past five years have involved alternative methods of pain control.
“Orthopedic surgeons account for 7.7 percent of opioids prescribed,” said Campbell Clinic surgeon Dr. Tyler Brolin. “We want to be leaders in trying to bring the percentage down. We want to be at the forefront of trying to find safer and better pain management strategics. [Opioid abuse] probably affects us more than other regions in the U.S.”
Because of that, Campbell is currently studying cryo-nucleolysis — which temporarily freezes the nerves — to manage pain in patients having total knee replacement surgery. It is also studying other pain control methods in patients undergoing elective shoulder rotator cuff surgery.
Besides decreasing the amount of opioid prescriptions, Campbell wants to reduce patients’ pain and complications.
“This is a hot topic in orthopedic surgery,” Brolin said.