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July 2, 2003

Pain Management in Patients With OsteoarthritisPain Management in Patients With Osteoarthritis

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(1):36. doi:10.1001/jama.290.1.36-a

To the Editor: Dr Lonner1 did not discuss the use of opioids as treatment for the persistent, severe pain of osteoarthritis. Because of the advanced age of many patients with disabling osteoarthritis, they often have comorbid conditions that make opioids less risky than surgery. Moreover, some elderly patients may simply decline major interventions despite ongoing pain. Chronic opioid use may alleviate pain and improve function in selected patients.2

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