Pain Catastrophizing Predicts Opioid and Health-Care Utilization After Orthopaedic Surgery: A Secondary Analysis of Trial Participants with Spine and Lower-Extremity Disorders.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Most individuals undergoing elective surgery expect to discontinue opioid use after surgery, but many do not. Modifiable risk factors including psychosocial factors are associated with poor postsurgical outcomes. We wanted to know whether pain catastrophizing is specifically associated with postsurgical opioid and health-care use. METHODS: This was a longitudinal cohort study of trial participants undergoing elective spine (lumbar or cervical) or lower-extremity (hip or knee osteoarthritis) surgery between 2015 and 2018. Primary and secondary outcomes were 12-month postsurgical days' supply of opioids and surgery-related health-care utilization, respectively. Self-reported and medical record data included presurgical Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) scores, surgical success expectations, opioid use, and pain interference duration. RESULTS: Complete outcomes were analyzed for 240 participants with a median age of 42 years (34% were female, and 56% were active-duty military service members). In the multivariable generalized additive model, greater presurgical days' supply of opioids (F = 17.23, p < 0.001), higher pain catastrophizing (F = 1.89, p = 0.004), spine versus lower-extremity surgery (coefficient estimate = 1.66 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.50 to 2.82]; p = 0.005), and female relative to male sex (coefficient estimate = -1.25 [95% CI, -2.38 to -0.12]; p = 0.03) were associated with greater 12-month postsurgical days' supply of opioids. Presurgical opioid days' supply (chi-square = 111.95; p < 0.001), pain catastrophizing (chi-square = 96.06; p < 0.001), and lower extremity surgery (coefficient estimate = -0.17 [95% CI, -0.24 to -0.11]; p < 0.001), in addition to age (chi-square = 344.60; p < 0.001), expected recovery after surgery (chi-square = 54.44; p < 0.001), active-duty status (coefficient estimate = 0.58 [95% CI, 0.49 to 0.67]; p < 0.001), and pain interference duration (chi-square = 43.47; p < 0.001) were associated with greater health-care utilization. CONCLUSIONS: Greater presurgical days' supply of opioids and pain catastrophizing accounted for greater postsurgical days' supply of opioids and health-care utilization. Consideration of several modifiable factors provides an opportunity to improve postsurgical outcomes. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Prognostic Level III . See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rhon, DI; Greenlee, TA; Carreño, PK; Patzkowski, JC; Highland, KB

Published Date

  • August 17, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 104 / 16

Start / End Page

  • 1447 - 1454

PubMed ID

  • 35700089

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1535-1386

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2106/JBJS.22.00177


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States