Joint Replacement Without the Opioids

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Paul Favorito, is among a handful of surgeons across the country studying new ways to treat pain without narcotics, specifically shoulder joint replacements.

This year, Mary Leibforth underwent a successful joint replacement, and Dr. Favorito said she also took no prescription pain pills following it thanks to a long-acting numbing medication she got prior to her procedure. "So before the surgery, my anesthesiologist will inject that around the nerves that go down to the shoulder, and that anesthetic can work for anywhere from two to four days," he said.

While it's still in trials for comparison to other pain management methods, it worked for Leibforth, and she's not alone. "For the most part, we've seen a dramatic reduction in the number of narcotic pills that people are using after surgery," said Dr. Favorito.