Opioid Prescribing Guidelines for Arthroscopic Partial Meniscectomy Based on Patient-reported Opioid Consumption


The purpose of our study was to determine the optimum number of opioid pills and morphine milligram equivalents (MME) required to treat postoperative pain following arthroscopic partial meniscectomy. A retrospective cohort study of 77 patients undergoing arthroscopic partial meniscectomy between January, 2017 and May, 2019 was conducted. Of patients, 19.48% took no opioids following surgery. Patients were prescribed 84.34 ± 49.54 MME on average and took 28.23 ± 40.99 MME. This equated to an average of 16.52 ± 8.85 narcotic pills prescribed and 4.90 ± 6.26 pills taken. Of 77 patients, 66 (85.7%) took less than 10 total pills, and 57 (74.0%) took 5 or fewer. Patients undergoing arthroscopic partial meniscectomy are commonly overprescribed opioids postoperatively. On average, patients consumed just under fi ve narcotic pills, less than one-third of the number prescribed. A standard prescription of 5 opioid pills or 25 MME is recommended for patients undergoing arthroscopic partial meniscectomy. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 29(4):240–243, 2020)

Key words: meniscus, meniscectomy, opioid, narcotics, pain

SKU: JSOA-2020-29-4-W11 Category: Tags: , , , ,

Justin Turcotte, PhD, MBA; Samuel Taylor, BS; Andrew Palsgrove, BS; Jeffrey Gelfand MD; Benjamin Petre, MD; and Daniel Redziniak, MD