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In Knee surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy : official journal of the ESSKA

PURPOSE : Recovery following elective knee arthroscopy can be compromised by prolonged postoperative opioid utilization, yet an effective and validated risk calculator for this outcome remains elusive. The purpose of this study is to develop and validate a machine-learning algorithm that can reliably and effectively predict prolonged opioid consumption in patients following elective knee arthroscopy.

METHODS : A retrospective review of an institutional outcome database was performed at a tertiary academic medical centre to identify adult patients who underwent knee arthroscopy between 2016 and 2018. Extended postoperative opioid consumption was defined as opioid consumption at least 150 days following surgery. Five machine-learning algorithms were assessed for the ability to predict this outcome. Performances of the algorithms were assessed through discrimination, calibration, and decision curve analysis.

RESULTS : Overall, of the 381 patients included, 60 (20.3%) demonstrated sustained postoperative opioid consumption. The factors determined for prediction of prolonged postoperative opioid prescriptions were reduced preoperative scores on the following patient-reported outcomes: the IKDC, KOOS ADL, VR12 MCS, KOOS pain, and KOOS Sport and Activities. The ensemble model achieved the best performance based on discrimination (AUC = 0.74), calibration, and decision curve analysis. This model was integrated into a web-based open-access application able to provide both predictions and explanations.

CONCLUSION : Following appropriate external validation, the algorithm developed presently could augment timely identification of patients who are at risk of extended opioid use. Reduced scores on preoperative patient-reported outcomes, symptom duration and perioperative oral morphine equivalents were identified as novel predictors of prolonged postoperative opioid use. The predictive model can be easily deployed in the clinical setting to identify at risk patients thus allowing providers to optimize modifiable risk factors and appropriately counsel patients preoperatively.


Lu Yining, Forlenza Enrico, Wilbur Ryan R, Lavoie-Gagne Ophelie, Fu Michael C, Yanke Adam B, Cole Brian J, Verma Nikhil, Forsythe Brian


Ensemble, Knee arthroscopy, Knee surgery, Machine learning, Opioids, Postoperative opioids