Opioid Use Patterns After Total Joint Arthroplasty


The incidence of new persistent opioid use following elective total joint arthroplasty (TJA) hasn’t been well documented; with this study we aim to further characterize opioid use following TJA, specifically focusing on those patients still requiring opioid prescriptions 6 months postoperatively. Retrospective review of a consecutive series of 977 primary TJA performed from June 2016–May 2017. Opioid prescriptions verified in Surescripts database; 3.7% (29) opioid naïve patients and 18.0% (35) opioid non-naïve patients received fills at 6 months. Opioid naïve patients requiring fills at 6 months had more fills from 1-2 months onward. Opioid non-naïve patients requiring fills at 6 months had more preoperative fills than those that weren’t filling opioid prescriptions (5.49 vs. 2.52 fills). Most patients in this study ceased opioid use by 3 months postoperatively. More preoperative fills in the opioid non-naïve population and continuing to fill prescriptions after 2-3 months were associated with continued opioid use. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 29(1):13-17, 2020) Key words: opioid use; hip arthroplasty; knee arthroplasty; postoperative; opioid naïve; opioid non-naive

Paul King, MD; Andrea Stone; Elizabeth Arentz; and James MacDonald, MD