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Papers of the Week

2020 May - Jun

J Foot Ankle Surg



Smoking Is Not an Independent Risk Factor for Increased Opioid Consumption in Patients Being Treated for Ankle Fractures.


Koury K, Weiner D, Gwam C, Loughran G, Murphy J, Vulpis C, Wisbeck J
J Foot Ankle Surg. 2020 May - Jun; 59(3):495-497.
PMID: 32354507.


Using narcotics for pain management is an integral part of orthopaedic surgery, especially after traumatic injuries such as ankle fractures. Although narcotics are often necessary for adequate pain control, prolonged duration of opioid treatment is becoming more common, and the detrimental effects of opioid use are well known. To treat this epidemic, we need to better understand the factors that put patients at risk for increased narcotic requirements and potential opioid misuse after orthopaedic injuries. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively compare opioid use among ankle fracture patients in smokers versus nonsmokers to better elucidate whether tobacco use is a risk factor for increased opioid consumption. A retrospective review was conducted for all patients who presented with an ankle fracture (Weber A to C) to any of 8 institutions in a large mid-Atlantic regional hospital system and subsequently underwent surgery between the November 2013 and January 2017. Exclusion criteria included patients age <18 years, a diagnosis of a pilon fracture, polytrauma, history of substance abuse, chronic pain syndromes, and osteoporosis. This yielded a total of 130 patients (96 nonsmokers and 34 smokers). A repeated-measures analysis of variance was conducted to compare opioid consumption between the 2 groups. Model analysis demonstrated no difference between the 2 groups (p = .782). There was no difference in opioid consumption at 1 month (p = .838), 2 months (p = .569), or 3 months (p = .656) between smokers and nonsmokers. Our study revealed no significant difference in opioid consumption among smokers compared with nonsmokers in patients treated for ankle fractures.