Letter to the Editor

Guidelines Could Reduce Opioid Prescribing for Uncomplicated Distal Radius Fractures

Authors: Sara S. Soliman, BS, Terrence Curran, MD, Zoltan H. Nemeth MD, PhD


To the Editor: The article entitled "Uncomplicated Distal Radius Fractures: An Opportunity to Reduce Emergency Medicine Opioid Prescribing?" by Altman et al was highly informative.1 Theauthors sent a survey to 1238 physicians across the nation, asking for the type and dose of pain medication they prescribed to their last patient who had a distal radial fracture. They found that approximately 92% of the surveyed emergency physicians prescribed, on average, a 3-day supply of opioids.

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1. Altman J, Wyatt CR, Brown LH. Uncomplicated distal radius fractures: an opportunity to reduce emergency medicine opioid prescribing? South Med J 2021;114:714–718.
2. Bhashyam AR, Young J, Qudsi RA, et al. Opioid prescribing patterns of orthopedic surgery residents after open reduction internal fixation of distal radius fractures. J Hand Surg Am 2019;44:201–207.e2.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drug overdose deaths in the U.S. Top 100,000 annually. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/nchs_press_releases/2021/20211117.htm. Published November 17, 2021. Accessed August 21, 2022.
4. Duff J, Tharakan S, Davis-Castro C, et al. Consumption of prescription opioids for pain: a comparison of opioid use in the United States and other countries. https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R46805. Published June 2, 2021. Accessed August 21, 2022.
5. Freedman-Weiss MR, Chiu AS, White EM, et al. Creating an opioid recommendation card for trainees: methods, use, and impact. Am Surg 2021;87:771–776.