We would like to thank the authors, Mehta and Gupta, for taking interest in our recently published article, “Patient Satisfaction With Nonopioid Pain Management Following Arthroscopic Partial Meniscectomy and/or Chondroplasty”. Mehta and Gupta make an important point by stating “patient socioeconomic factors in demographics would allow for a more complete understanding of patient satisfaction and a possible correlation.” We agree, factors falling into this category such as education and income level are important variables that can be considered, and have been studied in regard to patient risk stratification for outcomes such as opioid use risk, coping, pain catastrophizing etc.
With regards to the inquiries posed by Mehta and Gupta, we are happy to be more specific about our practice as a busy urban academic hospital in the Northeast region of the United States. As with any study, including all possible demographic variables related to the outcome of interest is an important consideration in study design, but is not always achieved. Because we did not prescribe opioids to postoperative patients in this study, there was no socioeconomic bias to correlate with education level and prescription use and/or amount of opioid prescribed and income status. Regardless, we will certainly look for a correlation in future studies concerning satisfaction with non-opioid pain management. We also acknowledge the importance of these aforementioned variables and the role they could play in outcomes and study limitations, specifically when comparing a large academic center to a rural community hospital.
As concluded by our study, we believe that an orthopedic practice with patient demographics similar to those variables which we did include (age, BMI, duration of symptoms, sex, race, mental health status, current opioid usage) would have successful pain management with a nonopioid pain control strategy in patients that have undergone partial meniscectomy and/or chondroplasty. We look forward to additional studies that elect to explore other socioeconomic factors, as this would certainly add value to current evidence of pain management strategies, with the hopes of decreasing the utilization of unnecessary opioid analgesia.
Note: The author reports no conflicts of interest in the authorship and publication of this letter. Full ICMJE author disclosure forms are available for this article online, as supplementary material.
© 2019 by the Arthroscopy Association of North America