The Association of Opioid Utilization and Patient Satisfaction Following Outpatient Orthopaedic Surgery: More May Not Be Better


Postoperative analgesia remains an important area of research in orthopaedics. There remains a lack of information on the complex interplay between opioid utilization postoperatively, pain and patient satisfaction. This study aims to describe the relationship between opioid utilization, postoperative pain, and patient satisfaction following outpatient orthopaedic surgery in a multispecialty orthopaedic practice. As a part of an ongoing quality control project at our institution patients were instructed to monitor utilization of postoperative opioids. The results of a convenience sample of 139 patients representing a 53% response rate among eligible patients that completed the survey following outpatient orthopaedic surgery are reported. Among patients undergoing outpatient orthopaedic surgery, there was no clinically signifi cant association between opioid utilization and patient satisfaction. This association appeared largely independent of the patient’s actual pain. While lower pain scores were associated with increasing patient satisfaction, this appeared to be independent of opioid utilization. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 29(2):88–93, 2020) Keywords: analgesics, opioid, ambulatory surgical procedures, patient satisfaction, quality improvement

Connor A. King, MD; David C. Landy, MD, PhD; John Curran, BBA; and Megan A. Conti Mica, MD