Multimodal analgesia (MMA) may reduce opioid use after surgery for Chiari malformation type I. An MMA protocol was implemented after both posterior fossa decompression without dural opening (PFD) and posterior fossa decompression with duraplasty (PFDD).
Scheduled nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (ketorolac or ibuprofen) and diazepam were alternated with acetaminophen, and as-needed oxycodone or intravenous morphine. The primary outcome was total opioid requirement over postoperative days 0 to 2.
From 2012 to 2017, 49 PFD and 29 PFDD procedures were performed, and 46 of 78 patients used the protocol. Patients with PFD required less opioids than patients with PFDD. Among patients with PFDD, patients with MMA protocol usage had a lower mean opioid requirement than patients with no MMA protocol usage (0.53 ± 0.49 mgEq/kg versus 1.4 ± 1.0 mgEq/kg, P = .0142). In multivariable analysis, MMA protocol usage status independently predicted a mean decrease in opioid requirement of 0.146 mg equivalents/kg (P = .0497) after adjustment for procedure and surgeon. Statistically significant differences were not demonstrated in antiemetic requirements, discharge opioid prescriptions, total direct cost, and length of stay.
A protocol of scheduled nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs alternating with scheduled acetaminophen and diazepam was associated with opioid use reductions.