Thursday, April 1, 2010


Unfortunately my daughter recently had ankle surgery related to a fall down a circular staircase at school. The surgeon performed the ankle repair. The hospital provided detailed discharge instructions. Now as the mother, it is my responsibility to help my daughter recover in the aftermath of surgery. I can fluff the pillows, apply the ice packs, and fill the prescriptions. It’s managing her pain that leaves me uneasy.

Research shows that women suffer from pain conditions disproportionally compared to men. Johns Hopkins assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine and pain specialist Dr. Paul Christo tells me that women represent 72% of chronic pain sufferers. Migraine headaches and fibromyalgia are more common in women; women report more serious, more frequent, and longer lasting pain, and too many women are given antidepressants and tranquilizers when they report pain. Pain is often undertreated which results in needless suffering for millions of people.

Chronic pain affects a staggering 25% or more of the population and continues to cause distressing symptoms for many years. Very few patients with persistent pain have access to a pain specialist, and those who gain access report that treatments are underutilized and often fraught with barriers.

My daughter was fortunate. The pain was quickly controlled. For others, however, it’s good to know that there are pain specialists at Hopkins.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your interest and contribution. Because we value the integrity of this blog, we ask that you share appropriate information, questions and insight. Defamatory, private and HIPAA-related, or unsuitable information will not be posted.