77% of patients continue using opioids after spinal fusion procedures, study shows: 5 statistics

Written by Mackenzie Garrity | March 28, 2018 | Print  |

A study published in PAIN shows patients who took prescription opioids prior to lumbar fusion surgery continued to take to use opioids long-term following surgery, Reuters reports.

Researches studied nearly 2,500 adult patients who underwent lumbar spine fusion surgery throughout Oregon. The used the state's prescription drug monitoring program to determine to opioid intake prior and post-surgery.

Here are five statistics:

1. Of the total patients, 1,045 received long-term opioid prescriptions prior to surgery and 1,094 received opioid prescriptions after surgery.

2. Within the long-term users, 77 percent continued long-term opioid use after the lumbar fusion procedure and 14 percent were episodic users. Nine percent stopped using opioids after the procedure.

3. Among patients who consumed opioids prior to surgery, 34 percent were prescribed lower doses after surgery. However, 45 percent were prescribed higher doses.

4. Some of the patients who did not take opioids before surgery, 13 percent, became long-term opioid users following the procedure.

5. The study authors concluded opioid prescription doses prior to surgery was the strongest indicator of long-term dependency.

More articles on spine:
Orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Joshua Li developing patches to treat back pain without addiction: 5 things to know
Interventional spine physician Dr. Gaurav Kapur joins William W. Backus Hospital: 6 things to know
Neurosurgeons Drs. James Arthur, Justin Dowdy, join CHI St. Vincent

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