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Reasons for Preoperative Opioid Use Are Associated with Persistent Use following Surgery Among Patients Undergoing Total Knee and Hip Arthroplasty.

Ervin-Sikhondze BA, Moser SE, Pierce J, Dickens JR, Lagisetty PA, Urquhart AG, Hallstrom BR, Brummett CM, McAfee J. Reasons for Preoperative Opioid Use Are Associated with Persistent Use following Surgery Among Patients Undergoing Total Knee and Hip Arthroplasty. Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.). 2022 Jan 3; 23(1):19-28.

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OBJECTIVE: Most studies on preoperative opioid use only describe whether or not patients use opioids without characterizing reasons for use. Knowing why patients use opioids can help inform perioperative opioid management. The objective of this study was to explore pain specific reasons for preoperative opioid use prior to total hip and knee arthroplasty (THA and TKA) and their association with persistent use. METHODS: This is a prospective study of 197 patients undergoing THA (n? = 99) or TKA (n? = 98) enrolled in the Analgesic Outcomes Study between December 2015 and November 2018. All participants reported preoperative opioid use. RESULTS: Reasons for preoperative opioid use were categorized as surgical site pain only (81 [41.1%]); pain in other body areas only (22 [11.2%]); and combined pain (94 [47.7%]). Compared to patients taking opioids for surgical site pain, those with combined reasons for use had 1.24 (P? = .40) and 2.28 (P? = .16) greater odds of persistent use at 3 and 6?months postoperatively, adjusting for relevant covariates. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides novel insights into the heterogeneity of reasons for presurgical opioid use in patients undergoing a THA or TKA. One key take away is that not all preoperative opioid use is the same and many patients are taking opioids preoperatively for more than just pain at the surgical site. Combined reasons for use was associated with long-term use, suggesting nonsurgical pain, in part, drives persistent opioid use after surgery. Future directions in perioperative care should focus on pain and non-pain reasons for presurgical opioid use to create tailored postoperative opioid weaning plans.

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