Multiple Opioid Prescribers During the Perioperative Period Increases Opioid Consumption Following Upper Extremity Surgery: A Multicenter Analysis.

Publication/Presentation Date



Background Opioid prescribing practices have been an area of interest for orthopedic surgeons in the wake of the opioid epidemic. Previous studies have investigated the effects of a multitude of patient-specific risk factors on prolonged opioid use postoperatively. However, to date, there is a lack of studies examining the effects of multiple prescribers during the perioperative period and their potential contribution to prolonged opioid use postoperatively. This study aimed to investigate if multiple unique opioid prescribers perioperatively predispose patients to prolonged opioid use following upper extremity surgery. Second, we compared opioid prescribing patterns among different medical specialties. Methodology This retrospective study was conducted at three academic institutions. Between April 30, 2018, and August 30, 2019, 634 consecutive patients who underwent one of three upper extremity procedures  were included in the analysis: carpal tunnel release (CTR), basal joint arthroplasty (BJA), or distal radius fracture open reduction and  internal fixation (DRF ORIF). Prescription information was collected using the state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) online database  from a period of three months preoperatively to six months postoperatively. A Google search was performed to group prescriptions by medical specialty.  Dependent outcomes included whether patients filled an additional opioid prescription postoperatively and prolonged opioid use (defined as opioid use three to six months postoperatively). Results In total, 634 patients were identified, including 276 CTRs, 217 DRF ORIFs, and 141 BJAs. This consisted of 196 males (30.9%) and 438 females (69.1%) with an average age of 59.4 years (SD: 14.7 years). By six months postoperatively, 191 (30.1%) patients filled an additional opioid prescription, and 89 (14.0%) experienced prolonged opioid use. In total, 235 (37.1%) patients had more than one unique opioid prescriber during the study period (average 2.5 prescribers). Patients with more than one unique opioid prescriber were significantly more likely to have received overlapping opioid prescriptions (15.7% vs. 0.8%, p





First Page


Last Page





Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Surgery, Department of Surgery Residents, Fellows and Residents

Document Type