Perioperative Celecoxib and Postoperative Opioid Use in Hand Surgery: A Prospective Cohort Study

Jeffrey G. Stepan, Daniel A. London, Daniel A. Osei, Martin I. Boyer, Agnes Z. Dardas, Ryan P. Calfee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Purpose: Prescription opioid abuse is an epidemic in the United States; multimodal analgesia has been suggested as a potential solution to decrease postoperative opioid use. The primary aim of this study was to determine the effect of perioperative celecoxib on opioid intake. Secondary goals were to determine whether perioperative administration of celecoxib decreased postoperative patient-reported pain and whether patient demographic characteristics could predict postoperative pain and opioid intake. Methods: This prospective cohort study enrolled patients undergoing mass excision or carpal tunnel, trigger finger, or de Quervain release by 1 of 3 fellowship-trained hand surgeons. Patients in the experimental group were given 200 mg celecoxib tablets taken twice a day starting the day before surgery and continued for 5 days after surgery. Both groups received hydrocodone–acetaminophen tablets 5 mg/325 mg as needed after surgery. After surgery, patients completed daily opioid consumption and pain logs for 7 days and underwent a pill count. Outcomes included morphine milligram equivalents (MME) consumed and postoperative pain. Results: A total of 123 patients were enrolled: 68 control patients and 54 celecoxib patients. Fifty (74%) and 37 (69%) patients, respectively, completed the study. Overall, the median number of MMEs consumed was 25 (range, 0–330). During the first postoperative week, patients in the celecoxib and control groups were similar with respect to postoperative pain experienced (median visual analog scale score, 2.0 vs 1.4, respectively) and amount of opioid taken (median MMEs = 30 vs 20, respectively). Conclusions: Patients taking perioperative celecoxib had similar postoperative pain and opioid intake compared with patients not prescribed celecoxib in the study. Regardless of study group, 4 to 10 hydrocodone tablets were sufficient to control postoperative pain for most patients undergoing soft tissue ambulatory hand surgery. This may be the result of the limited duration and mild nature of pain after outpatient elective hand surgery. Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic II.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-353
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Celecoxib
  • NSAIDs
  • opioids
  • postoperative pain


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