Can I Have a Refill on My Percocet?

Medical-legal risks of pain management in orthopaedics

David H. Sohn, JD, MD

Most orthopaedic surgeons dread this type of request, particularly from patients who are beyond the normal timeframe for significant postoperative pain medications. They are concerned not only about engendering dependency when prescribing pain medication, but also with the medical and legal ramifications of prescribing opioid medications. Orthopaedic surgeons may wonder, “Can I be sued for not giving enough pain meds? Can I be prosecuted for giving too many pain meds? What are the guidelines for prescribing pain meds?”

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