The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 2, 471 - 476

Differential Use of Narcotics in Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Comparative Matched Analysis Between Osteoarthritis and Femoral Neck Fracture

Agarwalla, Avinesh et al.


The United States is currently in an opioid epidemic as it consumes the majority of narcotic medications. The purpose of this investigation is to identify the incidence and risk factors for prolonged opioid usage following total hip arthroplasty (THA) due to hip fracture (Fx) or osteoarthritis (OA).


The PearlDiver database was reviewed for patients undergoing THA from 2007 through the first quarter of 2017. Following a 3:1 match based on comorbidities and demographics, patients were divided into THA due to Fx (n = 1801) or OA (n = 5403). Preoperative and prolonged postoperative narcotic users were identified. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify demographics, comorbidities, or diagnoses as risk factors for prolonged opioid use and preoperative and postoperative opioid use as risk factors for complications.


One thousand seven hundred ninety-four OA patients (33.2%) were prescribed narcotics preoperatively and 1655 patients (30.6%) were using narcotics postoperatively, while 418 Fx patients (23.2%) were prescribed narcotics preoperatively and 499 patients (27.7%) were using narcotics postoperatively. Diagnosis of Fx (odds ratio [OR] 1.51, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.28-1.72, P < .001) and preoperative narcotic use (OR 6.12, 95% CI 5.27-6.82, P < .001) were the most significant risk factors for prolonged postoperative narcotic use. Prolonged postoperative narcotic use was associated with increased infection, dislocation, and revision THA in both Fx and OA groups.


Diagnosis of femoral neck fracture and overall preoperative narcotic use were significant predictors of chronic postoperative opioid use. Patients with significant risk factors for opioid dependence should receive additional consultation and more prudent follow-up with regards to pain management.

Level of Evidence

Therapeutic, Level III.

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