The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 31, Issue 9, 170 - 174.e1

Long-Acting Opioid Use Independently Predicts Perioperative Complication in Total Joint Arthroplasty

Sing, David C. et al.
Hip Knee


Opioid therapy is an increasingly used modality for treatment of musculoskeletal pain despite multiple associated risks. The purpose of this study was to evaluate how preoperative opioid use affects early outcomes after total joint arthroplasty.


A total of 174 patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty were matched by age, gender, and procedure into 3 groups stratified by preoperative opioid use (nonuser, short acting [eg, Vicodin], long acting [eg, Oxycontin]).


Compared to nonusers, preoperative long-acting use was associated with increased postoperative mean opioid consumption (46 mg vs 366 mg mean morphine equivalents, P < .001) and independently predicted complications within 90 days (odds ratio: 6.15, confidence interval: [1.46, 25.95], P = .013).


Preoperative opioid use should be disclosed as a risk factor for complication to patients and taken into consideration by physicians before initiating opioid management.

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