Over the past decade, increased awareness by the medical profession of the devastating consequences of opioid addiction has resulted in substantial efforts to limit the number of opioid prescriptions for both perioperative pain management and chronic pain. While these efforts have had some success, opioid misuse remains a crisis, which we in the orthopaedic community have a particular opportunity to address. It is the belief of the undersigned that progress depends on improved research methods and reporting to further the understanding of pain experience and response to management, with the end goal of identifying more effective, nonnarcotic pain control measures for our orthopaedic patients.
To further these efforts, JBJS, with support from an R-13 scientific meeting grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, conducted a Symposium on Pain Management Research in Newton, Massachusetts, on November 19, 2019. At this meeting, 10 experts in pain research along with 12 orthopaedic journal editors came together to present and discuss the latest findings on perioperative musculoskeletal pain management, define unmet clinical needs, and develop a set of guiding principles for the next phase of research in this arena. This endeavor came to fruition in a series of papers published as the JBJS Supplement on Pain Management Research as well as a summary list of Recommendations for Pain Management Research based on those papers and the meeting itself.
We hope that investigators will find the JBJS Supplement on Pain Management Research to be a useful guide when designing and reporting future studies. Again, we believe that strengthening the integrity of pain management research is key to winning the battle against the opioid crisis, which requires moving away from narcotics as a primary mode of pain relief while improving the pain experience of our patients.