The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 1, 178 - 181

Implant-Related Complications Among Patients With Opioid Use Disorder Following Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Matched-Control Analysis of 42,097 Medicare Patients

Vakharia, Rushabh M. et al.


Opioid use disorders (OUD) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality. The authors of this study hypothesize that patients who have an OUD will have greater relative risk of implant-related complications, periprosthetic joint infections (PJIs), readmission rates, and will incur greater costs compared to non-opioid use disorder (NUD) patients following primary total hip arthroplasty (THA).


OUD patients who underwent a THA between 2005 and 2014 were identified and matched to controls in a 1:5 ratio according to age, sex, a comorbidity index, and various medical comorbidities yielding 42,097 patients equally distributed in both cohorts. Pearson’s chi-square analyses were used to compare patient demographics. Relative risk (RR) was used to analyze and compare risk of 2-year implant-related complications, 90-day PJIs, and 90-day readmission rates. Welch’s t-tests were used to compare day of surgery and 90-day episode-of-care costs between the cohorts. A P value less than .006 was considered statistically significant.


OUD patients had higher incidences and risks of implant-related complications (11.99% vs 6.68%; RR, 1.74; P < .001), developing PJIs within 90 days (2.38% vs 1.81%; RR, 1.32; P = .001), and 90-day readmissions (21.49% vs 17.35%; RR, 1.23; P < .001). Additionally, the study demonstrated OUD patients incurred greater day of surgery ($14,384.30 vs $13,150.12, P < .0001) and 90-day costs ($21,183.82 vs $18,709.02, P < .0001) compared to controls.


After controlling for age, sex, a comorbidity index, and various medical complications, OUD patients are at greater risk to experience implant-related complications, PJIs, readmissions, and have greater costs following primary THA compared to non-OUD patients. This study should help orthopedic surgeons counsel their patients of potential complications which may arise following their primary THA.

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