These 10 clinical factors may predict which patients will persistently use high doses of opioids in the year following knee replacement surgery, according to a new study published in Arthritis Care & Research.

In the study of 142,089 Medicare patients with osteoarthritis who underwent total knee replacement surgery and had no history of high-dose opioid use, 10.6% became persistent users of high-dose opioids after surgery.

Certain preoperative characteristics predicting the possibility of high-dose opioid use include demographics (age, sex, and race), history of substance abuse (opioids, alcohol, and tobacco), and medication use (benzodiazepines, anxiolytics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

“We believe that our prediction model may help identify patients at high risk of future adverse outcomes from persistent opioid use and dependence after total knee replacement surgery.”

— senior author Seoyoung C. Kim, MD, ScD, MSCE, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

[Source(s): Wiley, EurekAlert]

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