LAS VEGAS — At the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Jessica Hooper, MD, chief resident at NYU Langone Health’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery, spoke about results of a study that compared opioid use in the 90-day postoperative period after hospitalization of orthopedic trauma patients.
In the retrospective review, researchers studied patients who had orthopedic trauma surgery, elective spine surgery and total hip and knee arthroplasty. Using reported pain scores, Hooper and her colleagues compared the number of opioids the patients were given during hospitalization and the 90-day postoperative period.
Researchers found orthopedic trauma patients’ discharge pain scores were associated with increased opioid prescribing in the 90 days after surgery compared with patients who underwent other orthopedic procedures. Additionally, orthopedic trauma patients were prescribed more opioids than patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty.
“Discharge pain score is important, and it should put us on alert for patients who may be likely to get [a] higher dosage of opioids upon discharge. We all tend to think of orthopedic trauma patients as the patients with the most pain, but they really are not. We really shouldn’t treat them any differently in terms of the amounts of opioids prescribed compared to other patients,” Hooper told Healio.com/Orthopedics.