Chronic opioid use prior to ACDF surgery is associated with inferior post-operative outcomes: a propensity-matched study of 17,443 chronic opioid users. World neurosurgery Rodrigues, A. J., Varshneya, K., Schonfeld, E., Malhotra, S., Stienen, M. N., Veeravagu, A. 2022


STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort OBJECTIVE: Candidates for anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) have a higher rate of opioid use than does the public, but studies on pre-operative opioid use have not been conducted. We aimed to understand how pre-operative opioid use affects post-ACDF outcomes.METHODS: The MarketScan Database was queried from 2007-2015 to identify adult patients who underwent an ACDF. Patients were classified into separate cohorts based on the number of separate opioid prescriptions in the year before their ACDF. 90-day post-operative complications, post-operative readmission, re-operation, and total inpatient costs were compared between opioid strata. Propensity-score matching (PSM) matched patient cohorts across observed comorbidities.RESULTS: Of 81,671 ACDF patients, 31,312 (38.3%) were non-users, 30,302 (37.1%) were mild users, and 20,057 (24.6%) were chronic users. Chronic opioid users had a higher comorbidity burden, on average, than patients with less frequent opioid use (p<0.001). Chronic opioid users had higher rates of post-operative complications (9.1%) than mild opioid users (6.0%) and non-users (5.3%) (p<0.001), and higher rates of readmission and reoperation. After balancing opioid non-users vs. chronic opioid users along demographic, pre-operative comorbidity, and operative characteristics, post-operative complications remained elevated for chronic opioid users relative to opioid non-users (8.6% vs. 5.7%; p<0.001), as did rates of readmission and reoperation.CONCLUSIONS: Chronic opioid users had more comorbidities than opioid non-users and mild opioid users, longer hospitalizations, and higher rates of post-operative complication, readmission, and reoperation. After balancing patients across covariates, the outcome differences persisted, suggesting a durable association between pre-operative opioid use and negative post-operative outcomes.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.wneu.2022.07.002

View details for PubMedID 35809840