HealthDay News — Patients taking opioids before total knee arthroplasty (TKA) may have greater pain after the procedure, according to a study published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.1

The research included 156 patients (average age, 66 years) who underwent TKA. Of those patients, 23% received at least 1 opioid prescription before their surgery.

The researchers found that mean preoperative Pain Catastrophizing Scale scores were greater among opioid users vs non-users (15.5 vs 10.7 points; P =.006). In adjusted analyses, the researchers found that the opioid group had a mean 6-month reduction in Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index score of 27.0 points, compared with 33.6 points in the non-opioid group (P =.008).

“Patients who used opioids prior to TKA obtained less pain relief from the operation,” the authors write. “Clinicians should consider limiting pre-TKA opioid prescriptions to optimize the benefits of TKA.”

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  1. Smith SR, Bido J, Collins JE, Yang H, Katz JN, Losina E. Impact of Preoperative Opioid Use on Total Knee Arthroplasty Outcomes. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2017;99(10):803-808.