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Physical Therapy Tied to Lower Long-Term Opioid Use

Last Updated: November 01, 2021.

MONDAY, Nov. 1, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Physical therapy (PT) interventions are associated with a lower risk for long-term opioid use after total knee replacement (TKR), according to a study published online Oct. 27 in JAMA Network Open.

Kosaku Aoyagi, P.T., Ph.D., from the Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues used data from the OptumLabs Data Warehouse to identify 67,322 individuals (aged ≥40 years) who underwent TKR (2001 through 2016). Associations between PT interventions before and after TKR and long-term opioid use after TKR were evaluated.

The researchers found that receipt of any PT before TKR was associated with lower odds of long-term opioid use in both opioid-naive (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.75) and opioid-experienced (aOR, 0.75) patients. Similarly, receipt of any post-TKR PT was associated with lower odds of long-term use of opioids in the opioid-experienced cohort (aOR, 0.75), with more sessions tied to a lower risk (six to 12 sessions: aOR, 0.82; ≥13 sessions: aOR, 0.71 versus one to five sessions). PT initiation at 31 to 60 days post-TKR or 61 to 90 days post-TKR was associated with greater odds of long-term opioid use in both the opioid-naive and opioid-experienced groups versus initiation of PT within 30 days after TKR.

"Assessment of long-term opioid use after TKR may be a pertinent end point to consider in recommendations regarding PT interventions before and after TKR," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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