The effect of preoperative opioid education on opioid consumption after outpatient orthopedic surgery: A prospective randomized trial

Asif M. Ilyas, Talia Chapman, Benjamin Zmistowski, Kristin Sandrowski, Jack Graham, Sommer Hammoud

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pain management and opioid consumption following outpatient orthopedic surgery may be influenced by several variables, including knowledge of safe opioid use. A prospective randomized study was undertaken to understand the effect of preoperative opioid education on opioid consumption following outpatient orthopedic surgeries. A total of 237 patients undergoing outpatient orthopedic surgeries were prospectively randomized to receive preoperative opioid education or not. Postoperative data collected included the number of pills taken, daily visual analog scale (VAS) pain scores, adverse events, and attitude toward the pain experience. A total of 107 patients were randomized to receive preoperative education and 130 to not receive preoperative education. On average, 27 pills were prescribed to each patient. The preoperative opioid education group consumed significantly fewer opioids (6 pills) when compared with the group not receiving education (12 pills) (P<.05). The findings were the same with upper and lower extremity surgeries. Overall, the 2 groups of patients had similar daily VAS scores and were satisfied with their postoperative pain experience irrespective of opioid education. Of the total opioid pills prescribed during the study, only 46% were ultimately consumed. Preoperative education significantly reduced the number of prescription opioid pills and total morphine equivalents consumed by patients in the period following outpatient orthopedic surgery, with no negative effects on pain experience. This finding was consistent in both upper and lower extremity surgery. Approximately twice the number of opioids were prescribed than ultimately consumed by patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-127
Number of pages5
JournalOrthopedics
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

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