Opioid use before knee replacement surgery can lead to poorer outcomes

People who used opioids prior to surgery and more often to help them manage their pain prior to surgery were at greater risk for failed knee replacement.

opioids prior to surgery put people at greater risk for failed knee replacement

Is it far-fetched to imagine that people who are waiting for knee replacement surgery or putting it off without treatments that are helping them are more prone to taking opioids and other medications to help them manage their pain?

In December 2020, researchers writing in the European Journal of Pain (1) again touched on a common theme among surgeons, that “One in five patients experiences chronic pain 12 months following total knee arthroplasty (replacement),” and again looked for those pre-operative reasons for what would put a patient at risk for a poorer outcome. Here is how this research team conducted their study and sought to help isolate those risk factors. What did they find? More medication usage.

Learning points:

1 Lindberg MF, Miaskowski C, Rustøen T, Cooper BA, Aamodt A, Lerdal A. Preoperative risk factors associated with chronic pain profiles following total knee arthroplasty. European Journal of Pain. [Google Scholar]

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