Preoperative Opioid Usage, Male Sex, and Preexisting Knee Osteoarthritis Impacts Opioid Refills After Isolated Arthroscopic Meniscectomy: A Population-Based Study


      To identify risk factors for opioid consumption after arthroscopic meniscectomy using a large national database.


      Patients undergoing primary arthroscopic meniscectomy from 2007 to 2016 were retrospectively accessed from the Humana database. Patients were categorized as those who filled opioid prescriptions within 3 months (OU), within 1 month (A-OU), between 1 and 3 months (C-OU), and never filled opioid prescriptions (N-OU) before surgery. Rates of opioid use were evaluated preoperatively and longitudinally tracked for each cohort. Prolonged opioid use was defined as continued opioid prescription filling at ≥3 months after surgery. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with opioid refills at 12 months after surgery.


      There were 88,120 patients (53.7% female) who underwent arthroscopic meniscectomy, of whom 46.1% (n = 39,078) were N-OU. About a quarter (25.3%) of patients continued filling opioid prescriptions at 1 year postoperatively. In addition, opioid fill rate at 1 year was significantly greater in the OU group compared with the N-OU group with a relative risk of 2.89 (40.7% vs 14.1%; 95% confidence interval 2.81-2.98; P < .0001). Multiple logistic regression model identified C-OU (odds ratio 3.67; 95% confidence interval 3.53-3.82; P < .0001) as the strongest predictor of opioid use at 12 months postoperatively. Furthermore, male sex, A-OU, knee osteoarthritis, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, fibromyalgia, anxiety or depression, alcohol use disorder, and tobacco use (P < .02 for all) had significantly increased odds of opioid use at 12 months postoperatively. However, patients <40 years (P < .0001) had significantly decreased odds of opioid use 12 months postoperatively.


      Preoperative opioid filling is a significant risk factor for opioid use at 12 months postoperatively. Male sex, preexisting knee osteoarthritis, and diagnosis of anxiety or depression were independent risk factors for opioid use 12 months following arthroscopic meniscectomy.

      Level of Evidence

      Level-III, Retrospective Cohort Study.
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