Spine patients prescribed most opioids 3 months post-surgery, AAOS study finds

Alan Condon -   Print  |

A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons found that patient-reported pain at hospital discharge is linked to increased opioid use during the 90-day postoperative period.

Five study details:

1. Between 2012 and 2015, diagnosis-related groups were used to collect demographics, length of stay, visual analog scale pain scores during hospitalization, and opioids prescribed in the 90 days after surgery.

2. The study analyzed 5,000 patients who underwent spine, adult reconstruction and trauma procedures.

3. Spine patients had the longest lengths of stay, highest average pain during the length of stay, and were prescribed the most morphine during the 90-day post-op period.

4. Results of the study indicate that reducing pain at discharge may help decrease opioid consumption.

5. Kenneth Egol, MD, vice chair in the department of orthopedic Surgery at NYU Langone Health in New York City, served as lead author of the study.

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