Impact of Preoperative Opioid Use on Patient Outcomes Following Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty

Orthopedics. 2021 Mar-Apr;44(2):77-84. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20210217-03. Epub 2021 Mar 1.


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether preoperative opioid use had any effect on clinical outcomes and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) before and after primary, elective total hip arthroplasty (THA). The authors retrospectively reviewed 793 patients who underwent primary THA from November 2018 to March 2020 with available PROMs. Patients were stratified into two groups based on whether or not they were taking opioids preoperatively. Demographics, clinical data, and PROMs (Forgotten Joint Score-12 [FJS-12], Hip disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score for Joint Replacement [HOOS, JR], and Veterans RAND 12 [VR-12] Physical Component Score [PCS] and Mental Component Score [MCS]) were collected at various time periods. Demographic differences were assessed with chi-square and independent sample t tests. Clinical data and PROMs were compared using multilinear regressions. Seventy-five (10%) patients were preoperative opioid users and 718 (90%) were not. Preoperative opioid users had a longer stay (1.37 vs 1.07 days; P=.030), a longer surgical time (102.44 vs 90.20 minutes; P=.001), and higher all-cause postoperative emergency department visits (6.7% vs 2.1%; P=.033) compared with patients not taking opioids preoperatively. Preoperative HOOS, JR (46.63 vs 51.26; P=.009), VR-12 PCS (27.79 vs 31.53; P<.001), and VR-12 MCS (46.24 vs 49.33; P=.044) were significantly lower for preoperative opioid users, but 3-month and 1-year postoperative scores were not statistically different. At 3 months and 1 year, FJS-12 scores did not differ significantly. Mean improvement preoperatively to 1 year in HOOS, JR values exceeded the minimal clinically important difference, with preoperative opioid users experiencing a greater improvement (36.50 vs 33.11; P=.008). Preoperative opioid users had a longer stay, a longer surgical time, and higher all-cause emergency department visits compared with preoperatively opioid naïve patients. Although preoperative opioid users reported significantly lower preoperative PROMs, they did not statistically differ postoperatively, which indicates a larger delta improvement and similar benefits following THA. [Orthopedics. 2021;44(2):77-84.].

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / pharmacology*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / adverse effects*
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Analgesics, Opioid