Question:Before having shoulder surgery next week, I met with the nursing staff at the hospital. They carefully explained all of the steps before, during, and after surgery. They mentioned that I will be able to use morphine whenever I want for pain. I am worried about becoming addicted to this drug. Can't I go without pain medication?
Controlling pain after surgery is an important way to avoid complications. Uncontrolled pain is the most common reason patients have longer (overnight) stays in the hospital after surgery.
Many studies have shown that patient-controlled pain medications are safe and effective. It is very unlikely that anyone without previous drug addiction would develop problems during this short amount of time. Be sure to talk with your doctor about your concerns.
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