(HealthDay News) — Patients taking opioids before total knee arthroplasty (TKA) may have greater pain after the procedure, according to a study published in the May 17 issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

The research included 156 patients who underwent TKA. Their average age was 66. Of those patients, 23% received at least one opioid prescription before their surgery.

The team found that mean preoperative Pain Catastrophizing Scale scores were greater among opioid users vs non-users (15.5 vs 10.7 points; P =.006). In adjusted analyses, the researchers found that the opioid group had a mean six-month reduction in Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index score of 27.0 points, compared with 33.6 points in the non-opioid group (P =.008).

“Patients who used opioids prior to TKA obtained less pain relief from the operation,” the authors write. “Clinicians should consider limiting pre-TKA opioid prescriptions to optimize the benefits of TKA.”


  1. Smith SR, Bido J, Collins JE, et al. Impact of Preoperative Opioid Use on Total Knee Arthroplasty Outcomes. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 17 May 2017. doi:10.2106/JBJS.16.01200