Risk for Prolonged Opioid Use Following Total Knee Arthroplasty in Veterans
Abstract Background Patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA) may be at risk for prolonged postsurgical opioid use due to a high prevalence of persistent postsurgical pain (20%) and high rates of presurgical opioid use. Methods The current study uses a Veterans Health Administration sample of 6653 Veterans who underwent TKA in the fiscal year 2014 that did not require surgical revision during the subsequent year. Results Sixty percent of the sample had used an opioid in the year prior to surgery, including 20% who were on long-term opioid use at the time of surgery (defined as 90+ days of continuous use) and 40% with any other opioid use in the year prior to surgery. In patients on long-term opioids at the time of surgery, 69% received opioids for at least 6 months and 57% for at least 12 months after TKA. In patients not on long-term opioids at the time of TKA, only 4% received opioids for at least 6 months and 2% for at least 12 months after TKA. Differing risk factors for prolonged opioid use 12 months after TKA were identified in these 2 cohorts (ie, those who were and were not receiving long-term opioids at TKA). Conclusion These findings suggest that the greatest risk for prolonged opioid use after TKA is preoperative opioid use.
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