Background: The objective of this study was to evaluate factors associated with postoperative opioid use after open treatment of distal radius fractures. Methods: The Humana insurance claims database was queried for open treatment of distal radius fractures by Current Procedural Terminology codes. The search was further refined to identify patients who filled an opioid prescription within 6 weeks after their surgery. The study’s outcomes were: (1) limited postoperative opioid use, defined as filling a prescription once in the 6-week to 6-month period after surgery; and (2) persistent postoperative opioid use, defined as filling a prescription more than once in the 6-week to 6-month period after surgery. Logistic regression models were performed to identify factors associated with limited and persistent postoperative opioid use. Subgroup analyses were performed among opioid-naïve patients and those with open fractures. Results: This study identified 9141 of 19 220 total patients with limited and persistent opioid use. Significant risk factors included nonhome discharge, inpatient surgical setting, long-term pain, tobacco abuse, and age less than 65 years. Of note, both preoperative opioid use within 1 month before surgery (odds ratio [OR], 2.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.2-2.9) and preoperative opioid use between 1 and 6 months before surgery (OR, 4.0; 95% CI, 3.7-4.4) were significantly associated with persistent postoperative opioid use. Conclusions: This study has identified numerous risk factors associated with postoperative opioid use after open treatment of distal radius fractures. Understanding these risk factors is the first step toward reducing postoperative opioid use.
- distal radius
- open fractures
- research and health outcomes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine