Opioids and spinal cord stimulators: Pre-and postoperative opioid use patterns and predictors of prolonged postoperative opioid use

Lawal Labaran, Jomar N.A. Aryee, Joshua Bell, Nikhil Jain, Varun Puvanesarajah, Michael Raad, Amit Jain, Jonathan Carmouche, Hamid Hassanzadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of the study was to compare trends and differences in preoperative and prolonged postoperative opioid use following spinal cord stimulator (SCS) implantation and to determine factors associated with prolonged postoperative opioid use. Methods: A database of private-payer insurance records was queried to identify patients who underwent a primary paddle lead SCS placement via a laminectomy (CPT-C3655) from 2008–2015. Our resulting cohort was stratified into those with prolonged postoperative opioid use, opioid use between 3-and 6-month postoperation, and those without. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the effect preoperative opioid use and other factors of interest had on prolonged postoperative opioid use. Subgroup analysis was performed on preoperative opioid users to further quantify the effect of differing magni-tudes of preoperative opioid use. Results: A total of 2,374 patients who underwent SCS placement were identified. Of all pa-tients, 1,890 patients (79.6%) were identified as having prolonged narcotic use. Annual rates of preoperative (p = 0.023) and prolonged postoperative narcotic use (p < 0.001) decreased over the study period. Significant independent predictors of prolonged postoperative opioid use were age < 65 years (odds ratio [OR], 1.52; p = 0.004), male sex (OR, 1.33; p = 0.037), preoperative anxiolytic (OR, 1.55; p = 0.004) and muscle relaxant (OR, 1.42; p = 0.033), and narcotic use (OR, 15.04; p < 0.001). Increased number of preoperative narcotic prescriptions correlated with increased odds of prolonged postoperative use. Conclusion: Patients with greater number of preoperative opioid prescriptions may not at-tain the same benefit from SCSs as patients with less opioid use. The most significant predictor of prolonged narcotic use was preoperative opioid use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-253
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Chronic pain
  • Narcotics
  • Opioids
  • Spinal cord stimulator
  • Spine surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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