A new study in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery found that patients who are taking opioids prior to surgery had less desirable outcomes post-surgery than their peers who were opioid-naive. Researchers analyzed data on 156 patients who underwent total knee arthroplasty between 2011 and 2013. The average pain score before surgery was roughly 44 on a 100-point scale. Six months post-surgery, the pre-surgery opioid patients had a higher average pain score (about 17), compared to 10.5 for those who did not receive opioids. The difference in postoperative pain-score reduction between the two groups was significant after adjusting for baseline pain and other factors.
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