According to an article in Medical News Today A new study appearing in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS) links the use of opioid pain relievers to less improvement and higher levels of dissatisfaction following spine surgery.
Between 1999 and 2010, a greater focus on pain management resulted in a four-fold increase in opioids sold to hospitals, pharmacies and doctors’ offices, and a related and ongoing increase in opioid-related complications, including opioid dependence, impaired cognition and poor treatment outcomes. Previous studies have found a link between opioid use and diminished spine surgery outcomes; however, the studies did not account for differences in opioid consumption among patients.
Patients reported –
Increased preoperative opioid use was a significant predictor of worse health outcomes at 3 and 12 months following surgical treatment, as measured in 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12) and EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) scores.
Every 10 milligram increase in the daily morphine equivalent amount taken preoperatively was associated with a decrease in mental and physical health and disability scores: a .03 decrease in the SF-12 physical and mental health summary scores, a .01 decrease in the EQ-5D score, and a .5 increase in the Oswestry Disability Index assessment.
Opioid consumption seems to occur frequently in those with psychiatric comorbidities such as depression and anxiety, which may lead to increased opioid use.
“We have demonstrated that increasing amounts of preoperative opioid consumption may have a harmful effect on patient reported outcomes in those undergoing spinal surgery,” said lead study author Clinton J. Devin, MD, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery at the Vanderbilt Spine Center.
“Our work highlights the importance of careful preoperative counseling with patients on high doses of preoperative opioids, pointing out the potential impact on long term outcome and working toward narcotic reduction prior to undergoing surgery,” said Dr. Devin.
Hmmm a very interesting read. It is a worry if you have to have any type of surgery not necessarily spinal surgery if you are already on opioids before the surgery takes place.