Characterization of Opioid Prescribing Tendencies Among Orthopaedic Surgeons: A National Perspective


There has been increasing pressure on healthcare providers to exhibit restraint when prescribing opioids for pain control. However, data that characterizes the differences between orthopaedic providers and their accompanying prescription rates is not well developed. This study accessed Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data from 2015 to collect the number of prescriptions for opioid-based medications administered by orthopaedic surgeons across the country. A total of 19,410 orthopaedic providers were identified as opioid prescribers from the 2015 Medicare Part D Database. Providers averaged an opioid prescription every 10.9 days, with 94.7% of prescribers (18,387) having wri”en more than 10 opioid prescriptions. Regionally, the Southern United States had the highest percentage of providers prescribing an opioid greater than 10 times at 96.4%. Female orthopaedic surgeons prescribed just over half the number of scripts that male surgeons did (79.4 vs. 154.2, p < 0.001). (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 32(3):199–201, 2023)

Key words: orthopaedics, opioids, pain management

SKU: JSOA-2023-32-3-10 Categories: , Tags: , ,

Kamil Amer, MD; Michael Metrione, MD; Sirjanhar Singh, BS; Jay Patel, MD; and Kathleen Beebea, MD