The Effect of Patient and Surgical Factors on Opioid Prescription Requests Following Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

Mathangi Sridharan, Richard Samade, Kyle J. Kopechek, Austin J. Roebke, Kanu S. Goyal, Grant L. Jones, Julie Y. Bishop, Gregory L. Cvetanovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine whether differences in total morphine equivalent doses (MEDs) prescribed after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair (RCR) existed because of age younger than or older than 55 years and sex and to characterize potential risk factors for needing an opioid medication refill, visiting a provider other than the surgeon (either in the emergency department or ambulatory settings), and postoperative pain control requiring opioids approximately 6 weeks from the date of surgery. Methods: A retrospective cohort study of 100 patients who underwent arthroscopic RCR between July 1, 2018, to November 30, 2018, in a single institution was performed. Data including demographics, perioperative treatments, and postoperative opioid prescriptions were recorded. Our primary hypotheses were evaluated with the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test. Univariate and multivariate analyses assessed potential risk factors for the 3 outcomes of interest. Results were given in adjusted odds ratios (aORs), 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and P values. Results: There was a difference (P = .038) in total MEDs used (in 5 mg oxycodone tablets) between males (median 56 tablets; interquartile range, 50-98 tablets) and females (median 78 tablets; interquartile range, 56-116 tablets). Age younger than 55 years was a risk factor for seeking an opioid refill (OR = 2.51; CI, 1.11-5.66; P = .026). A significant risk factor for visiting another provider was preoperative opiate use (OR = 15.0; CI, 1.79-125.8; P = .013). Age younger than than 55 years (aOR = 2.51; CI, 1.01-6.02; P = .047), body mass index (aOR = 1.08; CI, 1.01-1.17; P = .046), and shorter surgical duration (aOR = 0.97; CI, 0.95-0.99, P =.007) were independent predictive factors for requiring opioids for pain control 6 weeks after surgery. Conclusions: After arthroscopic RCR, MED prescription is higher for females than males. The risk factors for requesting opioid prescription refill for pain control 6 weeks after surgery were age younger than 55 years and shorter surgical duration. Level of Evidence: Level III, retrospective comparative study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e707-e713
JournalArthroscopy, Sports Medicine, and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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