The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 11 , 3407 - 3411

Does the Amount of Opioid Consumed Influence How Patients Rate Their Experience of Care After Total Knee Arthroplasty?

Etcheson, Jennifer I. et al.


With legislative efforts aimed at optimizing value of care, surgeons performing total knee arthroplasty (TKA) are faced with increased responsibility of optimizing patient perception of care. However, pain after TKA may negatively influence patient perception of care, as measured by Press Ganey (PG) patient satisfaction surveys. While opioid-based medications are best suited for acute pain alleviation, awareness of a growing opioid epidemic has spurred efforts to reduce its administration. Therefore, this study assessed the correlation between postoperative opioid consumption and 7 PG question domains: (1) overall hospital rating; (2) communication with nurses; (3) response time of hospital staff; (4) communication with doctors; (5) hospital environment; (6) pain management and; (7) communication about medication.


We reviewed our institutional PG database for TKA patients from 2011 to 2014. A total of 406 patients were analyzed (mean age = 66, 73.4%). Opioid consumption was measured using a morphine milliequivalent conversion algorithm. Bivariate correlation analysis assessed the association between opioid consumption and PG domains. Spearman’s r was utilized to assess the strength of the association.


No association between total opioid consumption and overall hospital rating (r = 0.044), communication with doctors (r = 0.080), communication with nurses (r = 0.072), responsiveness of hospital staff (r = 0.084), pain management (r = 0.100), communication about medicines (r = 0.083), or hospital environment (r = 0.155) were found.


Our findings demonstrate that PG scores are not influenced by immediate postoperative opioid use. These results suggest opioid-based pain medications should be administered exclusively on the basis of clinical guidelines and patient needs without concern regarding satisfactions scores and reimbursement penalties.

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