July 19, 2018

Opioid use before total joint replacements linked to higher readmission, revision rates

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor’s Note

Preoperative opioid use was associated with significantly increased risks of early revisions and 30-day readmissions after total knee and total hip arthroplasties, this study finds.

The study included 324,154 patients in a 1-year follow-up group and 159,822 in a 3-year follow-up group.

For total knee patients, the hospital readmission rate was 4.82% for those with no preoperative opioid use and 6.17% for those with more than 60 days of opioid use. For total hip patients, readmission rates were 3.71% and 5.85%, respectively.

At 1-year follow-up, the rate of total knee revisions was 1.07% for those with no preoperative opioid use and 2.14% for those with prolonged use. For total hip patients, the revision rates were 0.38% and 1.10%, respectively.

The increased risks associated with prolonged preoperative opioid use were also significant in the 3-year follow-up group.

The findings illustrate the increased risk for poor outcomes and increased postoperative healthcare utilization for patients with prolonged opioid use before total hip and knee replacement, the authors say.

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