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Sanctioned post-surgical torture

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Bev Schechtman, darkly describing the practice of giving only acetaminophen to post-surgical patients, because of data that seems to show that opioids work no better:

Them: “Studies show Tylenol works as well as opioids for post op pain.”

The patient: “It was the worst experience of my life because all they gave me was Tylenol.”

Them: “Patient stories don’t matter. We look at data only.”

A clarifying follow-up comment:

“Doctors are afraid to prescribe. Boils down to that. Others have bought into the narrative that opioids always cause more harm than good. This is one story of thousands, if not millions.”

And those stories are quite disturbing. 😬 As one commenter says, this is “basically sanctioned torture.” Another grim chapter in the opioids “everyone loses” catastrophe.

I have written a fair bit about opioids (see Opioids for Chronic Aches & Pains). But for this acute pain sub-topic, I am mostly just a morbidly fascinated bystander.