Risk Factors for Opioid Use after Total Shoulder Arthroplasty


The purpose was to assess opioid use before and after anatomic and reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) and determine patient factors associated with prolonged postoperative opioid use.


Patients undergoing primary TSA (anatomic or reverse) were identified within the Humana database from 2007 to 2015. Patients were categorized as opioid-naive patients who did not fill a prescription prior to surgery or those who filled opioid prescriptions within 3 months preoperatively (OU); the OU cohort was subdivided into those filling opioid prescriptions within 1 month preoperatively and those filling opioid prescriptions between 1 and 3 months preoperatively. The incidence of opioid use was evaluated preoperatively and longitudinally tracked for each cohort. Multivariate analysis was used to identify factors associated with opioid use at 12 months after surgery, with statistical significance defined as P < .05.


Overall, 12,038 patients (5180 in OU cohort, 43%) underwent primary TSA during the study period. Opioid use declined after the first postoperative month; however, the incidence of opioid use was significantly higher in the OU cohort than in the opioid-naive cohort at 1 year (31.4% vs. 3.1%, P < .0001). Subgroup analysis revealed a similar decline in postoperative opioid use for anatomic and reverse TSA (P < .0001 for both). Multivariate analysis identified chronic preoperative opioid use (ie, filling an opioid prescription between 1 and 3 months prior to surgery) as the strongest risk factor for opioid use at 12 months after anatomic and reverse TSA (P < .0001).


More than 40% of patients undergoing TSA received opioid medications within 3 months before surgery. Preoperative opioid use, age younger than 65 years, and fibromyalgia were independent risk factors for opioid use 1 year following anatomic and reverse TSA. Chronic preoperative opioid use conferred the highest risk of prolonged postoperative opioid use.

 2019 Sep 5. pii: S1058-2746(19)30461-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2019.06.020. [Epub ahead of print]