BROWSE CASE STUDIES Case Studies > New Long-Term Opioid Prescription-Filling Behavior Arising in the 15 Months After Orthopaedic Surgery in Virginia

New Long-Term Opioid Prescription-Filling Behavior Arising in the 15 Months After Orthopaedic Surgery in Virginia

December 2019

CATEGORIES:

Consumers, Researchers, Population Health

FILTERS:

Utilization, Health, Pharmacy, Commercial

CONTACT

Noah Orfield
info@apcdcouncil.org

The purpose of this study was to determine the rates of long-term opioid prescription-filling behavior after common orthopaedic surgical procedures in patients who were not taking opioids preoperatively. This study utilized claims data from the Virginia APCD, which contains 3.7 to 4 million patients per year. Patients who underwent orthopaedic procedures and who had not filled an opioid prescription in the time period from 2 weeks to 1 year preceding the surgical procedure were selected for this study. The percentage of these patients who then filled at least 10 prescriptions or a 120-day supply of opioids in the time period from 90 to 455 days following the surgical procedure was calculated for the 50 most commonly billed orthopaedic surgical procedures. The rate of long-term opioid prescription-filling behavior in patients who were not taking opioids preoperatively for the 50 most common orthopaedic procedures was 5.3% (95% confidence interval, 5.1% to 5.5%). The highest rates were observed after spinal procedures. The lowest rates were seen after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Revision surgical procedures were found to have a significantly higher rate than primary procedures (p < 0.05).