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Perioperative outcomes for patients on chronic buprenorphine undergoing spine surgery: A case series

Ashley L. Sharp, MD, Stephanie Gilbert, MD, Danielle N. Perez, MD, Kerstin Kolodzie, MD, PhD, MAS, Matthias Behrends, MD

Abstract


Objective: Pain management following spine surgery can be challenging as patients routinely suffer from chronic pain and opioid tolerance. The increasing popularity of buprenorphine use for pain management in this population may further complicate perioperative pain management due to the limited efficacy of other opioids in the presence of buprenorphine. This study describes perioperative management and outcomes in patients on chronic buprenorphine who underwent elective inpatient spine surgery.

Design: The authors performed a retrospective chart review of all patients >18 years of age taking chronic buprenorphine for any indication who had elective inpatient spine surgery at a single institution. Perioperative pain management data were analyzed for all patients who underwent spine surgery and were maintained on buprenorphine during their hospital stay.

Setting: The study was performed at a single tertiary academic medical center.

Main outcome measures: The primary outcome measures were post-operative pain scores and analgesic medication requirements.

Results: Twelve patients on buprenorphine underwent inpatient spine surgery. Acceptable pain control was achieved in all cases. Management included preoperative dose limitation of buprenorphine when indicated and the extensive use of multimodal analgesia.

Conclusion: The question whether patients presenting for painful, elective surgery should continue using buprenorphine perioperatively is an area of controversy, and the present manuscript provides more evidence for the concept of therapy continuation with buprenorphine.


Keywords


buprenorphine, opioid use disorder, anesthesia, acute pain

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jom.2021.0655

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