Opioid Dependence More Common Before Spine Surgery

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Opioid dependence is more likely to occur in patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS) before surgery than afterward.
Opioid dependence is more likely to occur in patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS) before surgery than afterward.

HealthDay News — Opioid dependence is more likely to occur in patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS) before surgery than afterward, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

Mayur Sharma, M.D., from the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and colleagues used MarketScan databases between 2000 and 2012 to identify factors associated with postsurgery opioid dependence in DS patients (10,708 patients).

The researchers found that 14.85 percent were identified as having opioid dependence (continued opioid use, >10 opioid prescriptions) within 12 months prior to the index surgical procedure versus 9.90 percent with opioid dependence within three to 15 months after the procedure. Prior opioid dependence (odds ratio, 16.29) and younger age (one-year increase in age: odds ratio, 0.972) were independent predictors of opioid dependence following surgery.

"Patients who underwent surgery for DS were twice as likely to become opioid independent as they were to become opioid dependent," the authors write.

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