Effectiveness of intravenous acetaminophen for postoperative pain management in shoulder arthroplasties: A population-based study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Intravenous acetaminophen (IV APAP) is an option in multimodal postoperative analgesia. Prior trials focus on hip and knee arthroplasties, whereas large-scale data on utilization and effectiveness in shoulder arthroplasties are lacking. Methods: Data on 67,494 (452 hospitals) partial/total shoulder arthroplasties were extracted from the Premier claims database (2011–2016). Patients were categorized by receipt and dosage of IV APAP. Multilevel models measured associations between IV APAP and opioid utilization (in oral morphine equivalents), length/cost of stay and opioid-related complications. Effect estimates (adjusted % change) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) are reported. Results: IV APAP was used in 17.7% (n = 11,949) of patients with an increasing utilization trend. Most patients received only one dose on the day of surgery (69.5%; n = 8308). When adjusting for relevant covariates, IV APAP was not associated with meaningful effects on outcomes. Specifically, its use (versus no use) was not associated with decreased (but rather somewhat increased) opioid utilization: + 5.4% (CI 3.6–7.1%; P < 0.05). Conclusion: In this first large-scale study that assesses IV APAP in shoulder arthroplasties, IV APAP use was not associated with decreased opioid utilization or the length/cost of stay. These results do not support routine use of IV APAP in this cohort, especially given its high cost. The translational potential for this article: Multimodal pain control to assist in reducing the opioid pain medications are seen as a route to improved postoperative patient outcomes, better pain control and expedited hospital discharge. Acetaminophen plays a significant role in these protocols in many institutions, but it is not established if this expensive IV formulation is superior to the oral formulation. This study evaluates the use and effectiveness of IV acetaminophen following shoulder arthroplasty at a large number of institutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Translation
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Intravenous acetaminophen
  • Multimodal pain regimen
  • Opioid use
  • Postoperative pain control
  • Shoulder arthroplasty
  • Shoulder surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Effectiveness of intravenous acetaminophen for postoperative pain management in shoulder arthroplasties: A population-based study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this