6 key notes on chronic opioid therapy for workers compensation spinal fusions

By Laura Dyrda

A new study published in Spine examines prescription opioid use after lumbar fusion for workers compensation patients.

The study examined the CPT and ICD-9 codes for the Ohio WC patients who underwent lumbar fusion for degenerative disc disease from 1993 to 2013. There were 1,002 patients who received surgery during that time and 575 patients were in the chronic opioid therapy group, who received opioid analgesics for more than one year after the six-week acute period after fusion; there were 427 patients in the temporary opioid group.

The researchers found:

1. Chronic opioid therapy was negatively associated with returning to work.


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