Opiate Use in Orthopedic Trauma Patients: 7 Things to Know

Carrie Pallardy -   Print  |
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In a recent study published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, researchers from the orthopedics department of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, examined the use of opiates in patients with orthopedic trauma prior to injury and the risk factors of prolonged opiate use after the occurrence of injury.

The study observed opiate use three months prior to injury and six months post-injury in a group of 613 patients with isolated musculoskeletal injuries.


The study found:
•    15.5 percent of patients used a prescription for opiates three months before the occurrence of injury, compared with 9.2 percent of the general population
•    12.2 percent of the patients filled more than one prescription for opiates three months before injury, compared with 6.4 percent of the general population
•    68.4 percent of patients filled opiate prescriptions for less than six weeks postoperatively
•    11.9 percent of patients filled prescriptions for six to 12 weeks
•    19.7 percent filled prescriptions for more than 12 weeks
•    Advancing age is a risk of prolonged opiate use
•    Amount of pre-injury use is a risk factor of prolonged opiate use


More Articles on Orthopedics:
Hamstring Allograft in Reconstructive Elbow Surgery: 7 Things to Know
Report: 4 Trends Among Orthopedic Practices
Evidence-Based Medicine & the Next Frontier in Orthopedics: Q&A With Dr. David Dines of Hospital for Special Surgery

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