The Use of Opioids in Neurosurgical Practice: How to be Safe, Effective, and Compliant with New Prescribing Laws

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During this one-hour webinar, attendees will understand the perioperative management of neuropathic and nociceptive pain in neurosurgical patients, including in patients who are chronic opioid users. Recent opioid legislation and the implications of these new laws on opioid prescribing in neurosurgical practice will also be reviewed.


AANS Member: $69 | Non-member: $119

Christopher J. Winfree, MD, FAANS


Dr. Christopher J. Winfree grew up in Jupiter, Florida, and attended Dartmouth College, where he graduated with high honors in chemistry. After completing medical school at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, he joined the Department of Neurological Surgery at Columbia University as a resident. Following residency, he completed a fellowship in peripheral nerve surgery in New Orleans, Louisiana, and then a second fellowship in functional and stereotactic neurosurgery in Portland, Oregon.

Currently, Dr. Winfree is an Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, where he specializes in peripheral nerve surgeryperipheral nerve cancer surgerynerve and muscle biopsiespain neurosurgery, and spasticity. His research interests include the use of peripheral nerve transfers to treat spinal cord injury, and the use of neurostimulation to treat chronic pain disorders. He is a member of several different professional organizations, including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the New York State Neurosurgical Society, the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS), the Neurosurgical Society of America (NSA), and the New York-Presbyterian Society of the Alumni, and he serves on the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS) Boot Camp Committee and the CNS Self-Assessment in Neurological Surgery (SANS) editorial board. He recently completed his term as President of the AANS/CNS Joint Section on Pain.



Steven M. Falowski, MD, FAANS

Director Functional Neurosurgery

Dr. Falowski underwent his neurosurgical residency training at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA with a focus on Spinal Cord Stimulation and Pain management. He completed a functional fellowship at Rush University in both movement disorder and epilepsy with Dr. Roy Bakay. He is presently Director of Functional Neurosurgery at St. Lukes University Health Network in Bethlehem, PA with a practice specializing in neuromodulation.


He is a member of several committees for functional neurosurgery that include board of directors for the North American Neuromodulation Society(NANS) as well as scientific program chair.  He is on the committee for the NANS website, Co- Editor of their newsletters, and serves on the abstract review committee. He is faculty of both Congress of Neurological Surgeons and American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and a board member of the CNS/AANS Executive Pain Committee. He additionally serves as faculty for the International Neuromodulation Society.


His major focus in society and industry revolves around education, integration of specialties, and practice management. Roles include running the resident-fellows section and mentorship program through NANS. He has been the course director of the annual NANS spinal cord stimulation/neuromodulation workshop that is one of the largest international courses available and brought to the forefront the integration of neuromodulation among various specialties including Pain, Neurology, and Neurosurgery. He also serves as course director for the INS cadaver workshops.

Recent publications have dealt with spinal cord stimulation, epilepsy, and deep brain stimulation. He won the research award at the PAN Philadelphia Neurosurgical Conference in 2009 for his work dealing with DBS in a depression model and its effect on neuroplasticity. His latest publications and specialty interest deals with utilizing intra- operative neuromonitoring for the asleep placement of spinal cord stimulators.


His interests include Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, surgical procedures in the treatment of Epilepsy, Spinal Cord Stimulation for the treatment of various pain syndromes, peripheral nerve stimulation for headache disorders, pain and baclofen pumps, as well as radio- frequency ablation for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. His practice is primarily based on neuromodulation and its applications. He has helped develop a robust program that includes a Pain Center, Movement Disorder Center, and Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. 

Ellen L. Air, MD, PhD, FAANS

Co-Director Functional Neurosurgery Program

Dr. Ellen Air graduated from Northwestern University (1997) and completed her doctorate (2002) and medical degree (2004) at University of Cincinnati. She then completed her residency in Neurological Surgery at the University of Cinicinnati in 2010. She then went on to complete a fellowship in the neurosurgical treatment of epilepsy, movement disorders and pain at the University of California, San Francisco, in 2011. She then began working at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute's Epilepsy Center and Gardner Family Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, Co-Director of the Institute's NeuroRestorative Program, and Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at UC and at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Since 2014, she has been Co-Director of Functional Neurosurgery at Henry Ford Hospital and holds a faculty appointment at Wayne State University School of Medicine.  She has co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed publications and several book chapters. She serves on the CNS Education Board, the AANS Neurosurgeon Editorial Board, the Executive Committee of WINS, the International  Movement Disorder Society Education Committee, and is an Associate Editor for Evidence-based medicine for Neurosurgery.  She is also an Investigator for several active clinical trials.

Jason M. Schwalb, MD, FAANS

Surgical Director of the Movement Disorders and Comprehensive Epilepsy Centers

Dr. Schwalb is the President-elect of the AANS/CNS Joint Section on Pain.  He completed his residency at the University of Pennsylvania and fellowship in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto.  He is currently the Surgical Director of the Movement Disorders and Comprehensive Epilepsy Centers at Henry Ford Health System in souheast Michigan, where he is cross appointed as an Clinical Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at Wayne State University School of Medicine.  He is also an Associate Director of the Michigan Spine Surgery Improvement Collaborative (MSSIC) and Chair of the Functional Neurosurgery Working Group of the Parkinson Study Group (PSG).

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DISCLOSURE INFORMATION The AANS controls the content and production of this CME activity and attempt to ensure the presentation of balanced, objective information. In accordance with the Standards for Commercial Support established by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), speakers, paper presenters/authors and staff (and the significant others of those mentioned) are asked to disclosed any relationship they or their co-authors have with commercial interests which may be relate to the content of their lecture.

The ACCME defines “relevant financial relationships” as financial relationships in any amount occurring within the past 12 months that create a conflict of interest. Relationship refers to receipt of royalties, consultantship, funding by research grant, receiving honoraria for education service elsewhere, or any other relationship to a commercial interest that provides sufficient reason for disclosure.

It is the policy of the AANS that all individuals in a position to affect the content of a CME activity disclose relationships that they or their spouse/partner have with commercial entities. Further, should any such relationship be determined to be in possible conflict of interest as it relates to the individual’s proposed role in the CME activity, such conflicts of interest will be resolved prior to confirmation of the individual’s participation.

All potential conflicts of interest have been reviewed by an effective peer review committee to ensure the content is valid and aligned with the interest of the activity audience.

Those who have reported they do have a relationships with commercial interests:

Ellen L. Air, MD, PhD, FAANSConsultantMRI Interventions
MedtronicGrants/Research Support
Steven M. Falowski, MD, FAANSSpeaker's Bureau Medtronic, St. Jude, 
ConsultantMedtronic, St. Jude, Nevro
Grants/Research SupportMedtronic, St. Jude
Jason M. Schwalb, MD, FAANSGrants/Research SupportBoston Scientific, Medtronic, NIH
Other Financial SupportBlue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
ConsultantGlobus, DePuy Synthes,
Board, Trustee, OfficerMedicare Payment Advisory Commision
Stock ShareholderInnovative Surgical Solutions 

Those who have reported they do not have any relationships with commercial interests: Katy MeyerChristopher J. Winfree, MD, FAANS

DISCLAIMER The opinions expressed in this educational activity are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the grant provider or the AANS. This educational activity does not endorse one particular type of instrumentation, nor is it intended to dictate an exclusive course of management. It presents one of numerous recognized methods of clinical practice for consideration by physicians for incorporation into their practices. Variations of practice taking into account the needs of the individual patient, resources, and limitations unique to the institution or type of practice may be appropriate. Disclosure about patient confidentiality, standards of care, or course of management does not imply endorsement or disapproval of products. 

Please Note: It is recognized that the use of non-FDA approved devices is described in some of the published material, but these techniques are often the standard of care and may be of value to the patients we serve

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

The AANS is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education (CME) for physicians. 

The AANS designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The AANS designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.