Risk of requiring narcotic refill following total knee arthroplasty may be lower among elderly patients and patients with good pain control postoperatively, according to study results.
“Several studies have done excellent work attempting to lower the amount of narcotics provided to patients postoperatively in order to help combat the opioid crisis. One way that this has been accomplished is to standardize the amount of postoperative narcotics given for a particular procedure,” Benjamin K. Wilke, MD, co-author of the study, told Healio.com/Orthopedics. “While helpful, we believe this method is too simplistic and does not treat patients as individuals. In this study, we wanted to further refine our prescribing practice and determine if there are patients at lower risk of requiring a refill, allowing us to provide these patients with fewer narcotics at discharge than we otherwise would for a given procedure.”