Opioid Use among Adolescents Undergoing Surgical Repair of Facial Trauma

Avira Som, Katherine B. Santosa, Gary B. Skolnick, Jodi B. Lapidus, Jennifer F. Waljee, Kamlesh B. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: New persistent opioid use has been quantified among adults undergoing surgery; less is known about the risk among adolescents. The authors examine new persistent opioid use in opioid-naive adolescent patients who underwent operative repair of facial fractures. Methods: Using the IBM MarketScan Commercial Database, the authors performed a retrospective analysis of patients aged 11 to 17 years who underwent facial fracture repair between 2006 and 2015. The incidences of prolonged opioid use and potentially inappropriate opioid prescriptions were determined. Results: Of 4892 patients, 78.5 percent filled a prescription. Among these patients, 7.9 percent had prolonged opioid use. Significant risk factors included older age (i.e., age 15 to 17 years) (OR, 1.579; 95 percent CI, 1.173 to 2.126 compared to younger patients), multiple comorbidities (OR, 3.005; 95 percent CI, 1.193 to 7.568), mandible fracture (OR, 1.614; 95 percent CI, 1.213 to 2.146), and multiple fractures (OR, 1.542; 95 percent CI, 1.002 to 2.372). Overall, 24.1 percent received a potentially inappropriate opioid prescription. Mandible fracture repair was associated with increased risk (OR, 2.753; 95 percent CI, 2.275 to 3.331) of potentially inappropriate opioid prescription. Conclusions: Nearly one in 12 adolescents met criteria for prolonged opioid use; nearly one in four received a potentially inappropriate opioid prescription. Significant risk factors included mandible fracture, older age, multiple comorbidities, and multiple fractures. Like adults, many adolescents are at high risk for potentially inappropriate opioid prescriptions and prolonged opioid use following surgical repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-698
Number of pages9
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021


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