The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 11, 2676 - 2680

Postoperative Opioid Consumption After Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Comparison of Three Surgical Approaches

Seah, Sebastian et al.


The surgical approach for total hip arthroplasty (THA) has the potential to affect the immediate postoperative recovery; however, there is limited published data comparing the 3 most common surgical approaches. The purpose of the study was to investigate postoperative pain and subsequent opioid consumption between surgical approaches (anterior—AA, lateral—LA, and posterior—PA) in those undergoing primary elective THA.


A retrospective cohort study assessed patient demographics (age, sex, and body mass index), American Society of Anesthesiologists grade, opioid naivety, operative details (anesthetic method, fixation method, and local infiltration analgesia), pain scores, and length of stay. Statistical analysis was performed with a 1-way analysis of variance 3 × 1 table with a P value < .05.


A total of 560 patients were included in the analysis (335 females and 225 males). The cohort consisted of 179 AA, 178 LA, and 203 PA patients. The average postoperative opioid usage was 63.05 (standard deviation [SD] = 42.97), 79.81 (SD = 56.10), and 77.50 (SD = 54.52) oral morphine equivalent daily dose (oMEDD) for the AA, LA, and PA, respectively. The mean difference was 16.8 oMEDD lower in the AA compared with the LA ( P < .01) and 14.5 oMEDD lower in the AA compared with the PA ( P = .02).


The direct anterior approach was associated with lower daily opioid usage and pain scores after elective THA in the early postoperative period. This represents a potential 21% reduction in daily opioid dosage when compared with LA patients and 18.7% reduction in PA patients.

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