Opioids before knee replacement ops seem to result in worse pain outcomes

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osteoarthritis, knee arthritis, chondroitin sulfate, celecoxib, supplementThere is growing concern about opioid use before total knee replacement surgery and now new research in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery suggests that it could actually lead to worse pain outcomes afterwards.A team evaluated pain relief associated with total knee replacements in people who had used opioids before their procedure and compared it to pain relief in patients who had not.

There were two main findings:

  • People who had higher pain catastrophising (the degree of an exaggerated, negative response to pain) were more likely to take opioids for pain relief;
  • People who used opioids to manage their knee pain before their total knee replacement had about 9% less pain reduction six months after surgery compared to people who did not.

“With these study results, we’d encourage physicians to consider discussing long term implications of opioid therapy with their patients,” says lead author Elena Losina. “Although each patient case is different, patients and physicians should discuss the potential impact of using opioids in patients with knee osteoarthritis who are likely to consider total knee replacement within the next two years.”

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