Utilization of a Novel Opioid-Sparing Protocol in Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty Results in Reduced Opiate Consumption and Improved Functional Status.

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The Journal of Arthroplasty


BACKGROUND: Total hip arthroplasty (THA) candidates have historically received high doses of opioids within the perioperative period; however, the amounts are being continually reduced as awareness of opioid abuse spreads. Here we seek to evaluate the effectiveness of a novel opiate-sparing protocol (OSP) for primary THAs in reducing opiate administrations, while maintaining similar levels of pain control and postoperative function.

METHODS: All patients undergoing primary THA between January 1, 2019 and June 30, 2019 were placed under a novel OSP. Data were prospectively collected as part of standard of care. To assess the primary outcome of opiate consumption, nursing documented opiate administration events were converted into morphine milligram equivalences (MMEs) per patient encounter per 24-hour interval. Postoperative pain and functional status were assessed as secondary outcomes using the Verbal Rating Scale for pain and the Activity Measure for Post-Acute Care scores, respectively.

RESULTS: One thousand fifty primary THAs had received our institution's OSP, and 953 patients were utilized as our historical control. OSP patients demonstrated significantly lower 0-24, 24-48, and 48-72 hours with less opiate administration variance (total MME: Control 75.55 ± 121.07 MME vs OSP 57.10 ± 87.48 MME; 24.42% decrease, P < .001). Although pain scores reached statistical significance between 0 and 12 (Control 2.09 vs OSP 2.36, P < .001), their differences were not clinically significant. Finally, OSP patients demonstrated a trend toward higher Activity Measure for Post-Acute Care scores across all 6 domains (total scores: Control 20.53 ± 3.67 vs OSP 20.76 ± 3.64, P = .18).

CONCLUSION: Implementation of an OSP can significantly decrease the utilization of opioids in the immediate postoperative period. Inpatient opioid administration can be significantly reduced while maintaining a comparable and non-inferior level of pain and function.





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