Time and State Legislation Have Decreased Opioid Prescribing in Elective Foot and Ankle Surgery in the United States.
BACKGROUND: Legislation in the United States has been enacted to reduce opioid overuse and abuse in the setting of the opioid epidemic, and a notable target has been opioid overprescription. However, the impact of this legislation on elective foot and ankle surgery is largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of opioid-limiting legislation on opioid prescribing in elective foot and ankle surgery. METHODS: The 90-day perioperative opioid prescription filling in oxycodone 5-mg equivalents was identified in all patients 18 years of age and older undergoing nontrauma, nonarthroplasty foot and ankle surgery from 2010 to 2019 using a commercial database. States with and without legislation were identified, and opioid prescription filling before and after the legislation were tabulated. Unadjusted and adjusted analyses were performed to evaluate the impact of time and state legislation on perioperative opioid prescribing in this patient population. RESULTS: Initial and cumulative opioid prescribing decreased significantly from 2010 to 2019 (39 vs 35.7 initial and 98.1 vs 55.7 cumulative). States with legislation had larger and more significant reductions in initial and cumulative opioid prescribing compared with states without legislation over similar time frames (41.6 to 35.1 with legislation vs 40.6 to 39.1 without legislation initial prescription filling volume and 87.7 to 62.8 vs 88.6 to 74.1 cumulative prescription filling volume). CONCLUSION: State legislation and time have been associated with large, clinically relevant reductions in 90-day perioperative cumulative opioid prescription filling, although reductions in initial opioid prescription filing have remained low. These results encourage states without legislation to enact restraints to reduce the opioid epidemic. LEVELS OF EVIDENCE: Level III: Retrospective, prognostic cohort study.