Engaging Education About Risks of Opioid Use With Patients Before Elective Surgery of the Lower Extremity Did Not Reduce Postoperative Opioid Utilization: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

INTRODUCTION: After elective orthopaedic surgery, many individuals go on to become long-term opioid users. Mitigating this risk has become a priority for surgeons, other members of the medical care team, and healthcare systems. The purpose of this study was to compare opioid utilization after lower extremity orthopaedic surgery between patients who received an interactive video education session highlighting the risks of opioid use and those who did not. METHODS: Patients undergoing elective surgery of the lower extremity in the orthopaedic clinic at the Brooke Army Medical Center between July 2015 and February 2017 were recruited at their preoperative appointment and randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive a one-time interactive opioid education session or usual care education. Unique days' supply of opioids and unique prescriptions were compared using a generalized linear model. Individuals were also grouped by whether they had become long-term opioid users after surgery, and frequencies within each intervention group were compared. RESULTS: There were 120 patients, 60 randomized to each group and followed for 1 year. There were no significant differences between opioid days' supply (mean diff = 8.33, 95% confidence interval -4.21 to 20.87) and unique prescriptions after surgery (mean diff = 0.45, 95% confidence interval -0.25 to 1.15). Most participants did not have any opioids past the initial 30 days after surgery, regardless of intervention (n = 77), and only three became long-term opioid users (one in usual care and two in interactive education). Sixteen in usual education and 18 in enhanced education filled at least one prescription in 6 months or later after the surgical procedure. CONCLUSION: Opioid use beyond 30 days of surgery was no different for participants who received enhanced education compared with usual education. Few became long-term opioid users after surgery (2.5%), although 28.3% were still filling opioid prescriptions 6 months after surgery.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rhon, DI; Greenlee, TA; Mayhew, R; Boyer, C; Laugesen, M; Roth, J; Dowd, TC; Gill, NW

Published Date

  • April 1, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 / 7

Start / End Page

  • e649 - e657

PubMed ID

  • 35130200

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1940-5480

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.5435/JAAOS-D-21-00603


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States