AAHS Annual Meeting
Back to main AAHS site
Annual Meeting Home
Past & Future Meetings


Back to Annual Meeting Posters


Analgesic Consumption Following Outpatient Carpal Tunnel Release; Are We Prescribing too Many?
Arash Izadpanah; Blair Peters, BSc; A. Islur
University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Introduction: After elective outpatient carpal tunnel surgery, patients' need for opioid analgesic medication may be considerably less than typically dispensed. Few reports have examined actual consumption after elective surgery. A better understanding of actual opioid consumption after elective upper extremity surgery may lead to improved prescribing practices and less leftover medication available for diversion. Our goal for this study was to evaluate pain control and quantify the amount of leftover pain medication.
Materials and Methods: A prospective review of patients scheduled for elective outpatient carpal tunnel surgery, who met the inclusion criteria, was performed independently by two main authors (B.P, AI). All patients failed conservative treatments. All carpal tunnels were release using short scar techniques and patients were encouraged to remove their dressing on post operative day 1. Patients were also encouraged to shower on first post operative day. Information collected included age, gender, procedure performed, side, analgesic medication and regimen prescribed, satisfaction with pain control, number of tablets remaining, immediate post-operative pain, pain on post operative day one and two, satisfaction, post operative splinting, complications reasons for not taking medication, and other analgesic medications used. Exclusion criteria included patients with pervious upper extremities surgery or acute/chronic pain.
Results: A total of 56 were initially enrolled in this study. Of these, 7 patients did not meet the inclusion criteria, which left 49 patients who completed the study. The average age was 57.04 (18-88 years-old). 66% of patients were female. Tylenol # 3 and Tramacet accounted for all post-operative analgesic prescription. Patients most frequently received 40 pills. The satisfaction rate was 98%. The average number of Tylenol # 3 consumed was 10.46 (0-40 tabs). More than half of patients consumed less than 2 tablets. The average post operative days for consumption of analgesic were 2.33 (0-7 day). Only one patient continued to complain of continued post operative pain and numbness. Only 5 patients continued to wear their pre-operative splint for average of 2 weeks. Overall there were a total 1,531 leftover tablets for the entire cohort.
Conclusion: Our data show that excess prescribed analgesics are made available after elective carpal tunnel surgery and could potentially become a source for diversion. A prescription of 40 opioid pills for outpatient surgery appears excessive and unnecessary.


Back to Annual Meeting Posters

 

© 2018 American Association for Hand Surgery. Privacy Policy.