Opioid use before knee surgery linked with painkiller dependence post surgery

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Scientists have show a possible link between preoperative opioid use in case of Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) surgery and painkiller dependence post surgery.

According to researchers at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinic patients who take opioids prior to Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) surgery, are 10 times more likely to be on pain medications longer, a recent study has found.

Researchers identified 4,946 arthroscopic ACLRs and evaluated the effect of preoperative opioid demand on postoperative demand by comparing those who did and did not fill prescriptions pre-and post-surgery. Majority of the patients don’t require pain medication after three months post-operatively, but according to their analysis, nearly seven percent of patients were still filling opioid prescriptions, three months following surgery with almost five percent still filling prescriptions at 12 months.

Nearly 35 percent of patients were filling opioid prescriptions in the three months prior to surgery. Those younger than 25 years were four times as likely to be filling opioid prescriptions at nine months following surgery.

“We hope that our research will help contribute additional information to the baseline opioid medication demand data and continue to increase our knowledge of how to better cope with addiction and pain management following surgery,” said researchers.

The study was presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting today in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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