Opioid Resource Center
Opioid Resource Center
August 26, 2019
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Post-discharge opiate prescribing habits vary among AAHKS members

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Benjamin F. Ricciardi

Published results showed significant variability in post-discharge opiate and non-opiate prescribing habits after total hip and knee arthroplasty among American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons members.

Benjamin F. Ricciardi, MD, and colleagues invited 2,698 orthopedic surgeons who were members of the AAHKS to complete an 11-question online survey on current prescribing habits for opiate and non-opiate medications prescribed after primary THA and TKA.

Overall, 12.1% of AAHKS members responded to the questionnaire.

Results showed 23%, 53% and 24% of respondents prescribed less than 40, 41 to 80 and more than 80 narcotic pain pills, respectively, at discharge after THA. Researchers also found 18%, 50% and 31% of respondents prescribed less than 40, 41 to 80 and more than 80 narcotic pain pills, respectively, at discharge after TKA.

Bivariate analysis showed an association between surgeon years in practice and the number of narcotic pills prescribed after primary THA, as well as an association between annual surgical volume and the number of narcotic pills prescribed after primary TKA. Compared with surgeons with 10 or fewer years of experience, multivariate analyses showed surgeons with more than 11 years of experience were less likely to prescribe a higher number of pills at discharge after both primary THA and TKA. However, results showed surgeons were more likely to prescribe a greater number of narcotic pain pills if they performed more than 400 joint replacements annually compared with surgeons who performed fewer than 200 surgeries annually. Researchers found no statistically significant associations between opiates prescribed and use of an ambulatory surgery center or presence of departmental guidelines.

“Although THA and TKA are relatively standardized procedures performed nationwide, significant variability exists among surgeons regarding post-discharge opiate and non-opiate prescribing habits,” Ricciardi told Healio.com/Orthopedics. “There is a need for greater standardization to create a unified, evidence-based and safe regimen for the postoperative period while reducing the opiate burden in the surrounding community.” – by Casey Tingle

 

Disclosures: Ricciardi reports he has no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full study for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.