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Persistent post-operative opioid use following hip arthroscopy is common and is associated with pre-operative opioid use and age

Degen RM, McClure JA, Le B, Welk B, Marsh J. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2021; Mar 1 [Epub ahead of print]. DOI:

Purpose — Hip arthroscopy utilization continues to increase worldwide. Post-operative pain management is essential to allow appropriate rehabilitation. While multimodal analgesic protocols have been described, consensus agreement is lacking and opioid analgesia remains a mainstay of treatment. Unfortunately, the risk of persistent opioid use among opioid-naïve and non-naïve patients following hip arthroscopy remains unclear. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify rates of persistent post-operative opioid use, as well as to identify factors associated with persistent use.

Methods — A retrospective cohort study was conducted using linked administrative data from Ontario, Canada. Participants were adults who underwent hip arthroscopy between 2013 and 2018. Patients < 18 or > 60 years of age as well as those who had undergone prior hip arthroscopy were excluded. The primary exposure was whether patients had filled ≥ 2 opioid prescriptions within 1 year prior to their hip arthroscopy to define the opioid naïve and non-naïve populations. The primary outcome was persistent opioid use, defined as 2 + prescriptions filled between 9 and 15 months post-op. A regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with persistent opioid usage.

Results — Of the 1909 patients, 1525 (79.9%) were opioid-naïve, while 384 (20.1%) had a prior history of opioid use within 1 year of surgery. 224 patients (11.7%) demonstrated persistent opioid use, with ≥ 2 prescriptions filled between 9 and 15 months post-op. Of those, 42 (18.8%) cases were among opioid-naïve patients, while the remaining 182 (81.2%) were among non-naïve patients. The risk of persistent post-operative use was significantly higher in those with prior opioid use (OR 31.95, 95% CI 22.15-46.09; p < 0.0001). Regression analysis confirmed that pre-operative opioid use (OR 23.79, 95% CI 17.06-33.17; p < 0.0001) and older age (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.02-1.05, p < 0.0001) were associated with increased risk of persistent post-operative opioid use.

Conclusion — Following hip arthroscopy, persistent opioid use is common. New persistent use was identified in 2.7% of opioid-naïve patients, compared with continued use in 47.4% of non-naïve patients. Pre-operative opioid use and older age were associated with the greater risk of persistent post-operative opioid use.