A Qualitative Study of the Postoperative Pain Management Educational Needs of Total Joint Replacement Patients

Academic Article


  • Background: The majority of patients undergoing total joint replacement (TJR) experience surgical pain in the early postoperative period and managing pain can be challenging for orthopedic surgeons and their patients. Aims: The objective of this study was to better understand the postoperative pain management education needs of elective total joint replacement patients. Design: This study had a descriptive phenomenological, qualitative design using individual interviews. Settings: Nine orthopedic surgeons offices in 8 states. Participants/Subjects: Twenty-seven patients (mean age: 71 years; 74% female; 78% non-Hispanic white) completed the interview. Methods: Patients were interviewed using open-ended questions, which included experiences with surgical pain after surgery and how it was managed, experiences with pain medicine, experience using non–medicine-related pain reduction methods, and suggestions for delivery of pain management information. Results: Challenges identified for managing postoperative pain included loss of pain control and lack of information about prescribed opioids and nonopioid methods of managing pain. Facilitators included having a caregiver or family member in a health care field and previous experience managing postoperative pain. Participants believed that information about pain management would be helpful and should be delivered at multiple time points. Conclusions: With trends toward shorter hospital stays, as well as the growing opioid epidemic and the associated concerns regarding prescribing opioids, home-based pain management should be a priority. Interventions should include education about narcotic use and abuse as well as nonmedication approaches to pain management.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lemay CA; Saag KG; Franklin PD
  • Start Page

  • 345
  • End Page

  • 351
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 4