Reduction in narcotic use after primary total knee arthroplasty and association with patient pain relief and satisfaction

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation; Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee; Narcotics; Pain; Pain, Postoperative; Patient Satisfaction


Orthopedics | Rehabilitation and Therapy


We examined the prevalence of narcotic use before and after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and its association with post-TKA pain relief and satisfaction. Data on 6364 primary, unilateral TKA patients in a national registry were analyzed. Before TKA, 24% of patients were prescribed one form of narcotic. Of these, 14% reported continued narcotic use at 12 months after TKA, whereas the majority discontinued use. Only 3% of patients who did not use narcotics before TKA had a narcotics prescription at 12 months. Patients who used narcotics before TKA were more likely to have a narcotic prescription at 12 months post-TKA, reported greater pain at 12 months, and were more likely to be dissatisfied with TKA outcome. These findings have implications for patient pre-TKA counseling.

DOI of Published Version



J Arthroplasty. 2010 Sep;25(6 Suppl):12-6. Epub 2010 Jun 26. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of arthroplasty

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID