Study: Use of Opioids Prior to Knee Replacement Tied to Complications

A new study found patients who use opioids prior to knee replacement experience more complications, according to findings published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

The study included 49 patients who underwent total knee arthroplasty after regularly using opioids and another group of the same size that did not use opioids prior to surgery. Researchers found Knee Society scores for patients who used opioids were significantly lower than in the non-opioid group. The mean score was 79 points in the opioid group and 92 points in the non-opioid group.

Five patients in the opioid group underwent arthroscopic evaluations and eight revisions for stiffness and/or pain compared to none in the non-opioid group. Ten opioid group patients were referred to outpatient pain management compared to one in the non-opioid group.

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