Safe Opioid Use in Surgery: A Team-based Approach

More than 70% of patients awaiting musculoskeletal surgery experience pain that interferes with daily functioning, including difficulty going up or down stairs, stiffness, swelling, pain in bed, and avoiding exercise.1 It is estimated that 10%-15% of these patients use opioids intermittently to help manage their pain.2,3

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has launched a new program that will provide patients undergoing musculoskeletal surgery with comprehensive pain control educational materials to reduce their risk of developing opioid dependency. The ACS, in collaboration with Health Care Services Corporation (HCSC), the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), will distribute safe pain control education programs to patients having non-emergency hip and knee replacement surgeries, or certain forms of spine surgery.

Faculty representatives from AAOS and AANS will also highlight resources for both professionals and patients to contribute to this collaboration and decrease long-term postsurgical opioid use. Surgeons are encouraged to utilize the new Safe Pain Control website in their practice and with their patients. The website is   



1. Nguyen U-S D, Ayers DC, Li W, et al. Preoperative pain and function: profiles of patients selected for total knee replacement. J Arthroplasty. 2016;31(11):2402-2407.e2

2. Ravi B, Pincus D, Croxford R, et al. Patterns of pre-operative opioid use affect the risk for complications after total joint replacement. Sci Rep. 2021;11:22124.  

3. Naylor JM, Pavlovic N, Farrugia M, et al. Associations between pre-surgical daily opioid use and short term outcomes following knee or hip arthroplasty: a prospective, exploratory cohort study. BMC musculoskeletal disorders. 2020;21:398.



Target Audience

This activity is intended for surgeons and members of the surgical team (preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative).  

Learning Objectives

1. Describe the impact of patient education and reinforced messaging to reduce long-term opioid use in surgical patients.  


2. Identify professional association and insurance provider resources (ie, perioperative interventions) used to enhance recovery and reduce opioids after hip, knee, and spine surgeries 


3. Describe how to incorporate Safe Pain Control programs into your clinical practice and participate in a quality improvement program 


4. Align professional pain management practices with current guidelines for opioid reduction  



  • For questions about the educational activity, please contact Kathleen Maruyama at
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.00 Certificate of Completion
  • 1.00 Self Assessment Credit
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Disclosure Information

In accordance with the ACCME Accreditation Criteria, the American College of Surgeons must ensure that anyone in a position to control the content of the educational activity (planners and speakers/authors/discussants/moderators) has disclosed all financial relationships with any commercial interest (termed by the ACCME as “ineligible companies”, defined below) held in the last 24 months (see below for definitions). Please note that first authors were required to collect and submit disclosure information on behalf all other authors/contributors, if applicable.

Ineligible company

The ACCME defines an “ineligible company” as any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services used on or consumed by patients. Providers of clinical services directly to patients are NOT included in this definition.

Financial Relationships

Relationships in which the individual benefits by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, ownership interest (e.g., stocks, stock options or other ownership interest, excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit.  Financial benefits are usually associated with roles such as employment, management position, independent contractor (including contracted research), consulting, speaking and teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership, and other activities from which remuneration is received, or expected.  ACCME considers relationships of the person involved in the CME activity to include financial relationships of a spouse or partner.

Conflict of Interest

Circumstances create a conflict of interest when an individual has an opportunity to affect CME content about products or services of an ineligible company with which he/she has a financial relationship.

The ACCME also requires that ACS manage any reported conflict and eliminate the potential for bias during the educational activity.  Any conflicts noted below have been managed to our satisfaction. The disclosure information is intended to identify any commercial relationships and allow learners to form their own judgments. However, if you perceive a bias during the educational activity, please report it on the evaluation. 

Faculty Disclosures


For the American College of Surgeons:  

Jonah J. Stulberg, MD, PhD, MPH, FACS  - Nothing to Disclose
Vice Chair of Research 
Program Director, Complex Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Fellowship 
Director, Texas Hernia Center 
Associate Professor of Surgery 
Department of Surgery 

For Health Care Services Corporation:  

Ben Kurian, MD  - Nothing to Disclose
Executive Medical Director 
Risk Identification & Outreach Program 
Health Care Services Corporation 

For American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons:  

Mary F. Carnduff, MD, MBA, FAAOS - Nothing to Disclose
Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of the Air Force, Pentagon 
Washington DC  

For American Association of Neurological Surgeons:  

Owoicho Adogwa, MD, MPH - Nothing to Disclose
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery 
University of Cincinnati 

Continuing Medical Education Credit Information


The American College of Surgeons is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™

The American College of Surgeons designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Of the AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ listed above, a maximum of 1.00 credits meet the requirements for Self-Assessment.


American College of Surgeons and ACGME Logos

CME Credit Claiming Information

In order to claim a CME Certificate or a Certificate of Completion, the following requirements will need to be completed in the course:

  • Review all course materials
  • Complete the post test
  • Course evaluation

Participants may only claim a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ for this activity.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.00 Certificate of Completion
  • 1.00 Self Assessment Credit
Please login or register to take this course.

This webinar is available for free on the live air date of Wednesday, August 23rd at 5 pm CT. 

If you wish to obtain 1.0 hour of CME, you will have to enroll/register for the course starting on August 24th and pay a processing fee of $10. 

You will be asked to register for the course and provide information to complete the registration process. Once you have completed the registration process, an email will be sent to you with the confirmation and course login information. 


To Start Course

Once you have completed the registration process, you will see the "Take Course" button above, click on the button to start/access the educational activity.