- •This paper focuses on one aspect of a study of elderly orthopaedic patients, namely pain control.
- •One-hundred patients aged 70 years and over were interviewed on up to five occasions during admission to an acute orthopaedic unit.
- •The majority of patients had significant post-operative and/or post-trauma pain, and backache and joint pain were reported frequently.
- •None of the patients received more than half of the maximum prescribed number of doses of opioid analgesics over a period of 48 h following surgery.
- •The well-recognized problem of inadequate pain relief among hospital in-patients is discussed, in particular its relevance to elderly orthopaedic patients.