Published June 29, 2016
Which Joint Replacement Patients Continue Opioids Longer Term?
Ann Arbor, MI—Prescription opioid pain medications continue to be used by many hip and knee replacement patients for up to 6 months after hip and knee surgery, according to a new study published in the journal PAIN. The University of Michigan–led research said one of the strongest indicators of long-term narcotic usage is previous prescriptions for high-dose opioids. For the study, 574 patients undergoing knee or hip replacement surgery, patients were followed up at 1, 3, and 6 months after surgery to assess rates of and risk factors for long-term opioid use. Of the 30% of patients who were taking opioids prior to their joint-replacement surgery, 53% of knee-replacement patients and 35% of hip-replacement patients were still taking opioids at 6 months after surgery.
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