Pain Manag. 2020 Nov;10(6):387-397. doi: 10.2217/pmt-2020-0057.


Faizan Niazi1, Kevin L Ong 2, Vasco Deon Kidd 3, Edmund Lau 4, Steven M Kurtz

2, Stanley H Dysart 5, Gerard Malanga 6

Aim: We studied changes in opioid prescriptions and corticosteroid injection use for knee osteoarthritis patients before and after intra-articular hyaluronic acid (HA) use and opioid prescriptions before and after knee arthroplasty (KA).

Materials & methods: A total of 1,017,578 knee osteoarthritis members were ascertained from a commercial claims database (Health Intelligence Company LLC, IL, USA) using ICD9/ICD10 diagnosis codes.

Results: Eighty two percent of HA patients did not fill opioid prescriptions postinjection, with 54% of opioid users discontinuing fills. Two-thirds of KA patients filled opioid prescriptions within 6 months postsurgery, with 78% of opioid users continuing fills and 62% of nonusers initiating use.

Conclusion: Alternative therapies, such as HA, that reduce opioid use may alleviate opioid addiction risks for KA patients who use opioids in the pre- and postoperative periods.

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