Controlling pain after surgery is a team effort. Pain medication will help you get through therapy and on your way home. The biggest advantage to taking pain pills by mouth for pain management is that they work for a longer period of time and, in many cases, they’re enough to keep your pain under control or at an acceptable level. You will be on a pain control protocol where you’ll receive long-acting pills and short-acting pills. The long-acting pills last for about 12 hours. If you experience pain within that time, you’ll receive short-acting pills that work quickly to help bring relief.
Sometimes the medication you’re taking by mouth may not be enough. Pain you experience during this is known as breakthrough pain. Your physician may consider adding medication that will be injected into your IV. While it’ll work faster, it controls pain for a shorter amount of time than pills taken by mouth. You cannot be discharged home or to a physical rehabilitation center while you’re taking IV medications.
These pain management medications are meant to give you relief, but if you have any questions about them, please talk with your care team.