Perioperative Opioid Use Predicts Postoperative Opioid Use and Inferior Outcomes After Shoulder Arthroscopy


      The purpose of this study is to define the impact of preoperative opioid use on postoperative opioid use, patient-reported outcomes, and revision rates in a cohort of patients receiving arthroscopic shoulder surgery.


      Patients who underwent shoulder arthroscopy were identified from an institutional database. Inclusion criteria were completion of preoperative and postoperative patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) at 1-year follow-up and completion of a questionnaire on use of opioids and number of pills per day. Outcomes assessed included postoperative PROM scores, postoperative opioid use, persistent pain, and achievement of the patient acceptable symptomatic state. A matched cohort analysis was performed to evaluate the impact of opioid use on achievement of postoperative outcomes, whereas a multivariate regression was performed to determine additional risk factors. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to establish threshold values in oral morphine equivalents (OMEs) that predicted each outcome.


      A total of 184 (16.3%) patients were included in the opioid use (OU) group and 1,058 in the no opioid use (NOU) group. The OU and NOU groups showed statistically significant differences in both preoperative and postoperative scores across all PROMs (P < .001). Multivariate logistic regression identified preoperative opioid use as a significant predictor of reduced achievement of the patient acceptable symptomatic state (odds ratio [OR], 0.69, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.29-0.83, P = .008), increased likelihood of endorsing persistent pain (OR, 1.73, 95% CI, 1.17-2.56, P = .006), and increased opioid use at 1 year (OR, 21.3, 95% CI, 12.2-37.2, P < .001). Consuming a high dosage during the perioperative period increased risk of revision surgery (OR, 8.59, 95% CI, 2.12-34.78, P < .003). Results were confirmed by matched cohort analysis. Receiver operating characteristic analysis found that total OME >1430 mg/d in the perioperative period (area under the curve, 0.76) and perioperative daily OME >32.5 predicted postoperative opioid consumption (area under the curve, 0.79).


      Patients with a history of preoperative opioid use can achieve significant improvements in patient-reported outcomes after arthroscopic shoulder surgery. However, preoperative opioid use negatively impacts patients’ level of satisfaction and is a significant predictor of pain and continued opioid usage.

      Level of evidence

      Level III, retrospective cohort study
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