Systemic Complications and Radiographic Findings of Opioid Use and Misuse: An Overview for Orthopedic Surgeons

Harry G. Greditzer, Dustin H. Massel, Carlos M. Barrera, Nisreen S. Ezuddin, Christopher P. Emerson, Jean Jose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Amid growing concern about the misuse of prescribed opioids, the rising rates of opioid use disorder, and the use of illicit opioids, clinicians in ambulatory, inpatient, and operative environments are encountering opioid-related complications in their patients. These complications can affect multiple organ systems including cardiovascular, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, and neurologic and are related to excess opioid levels in the body or contamination from non-sterile injection. It is important for the orthopedic surgeon to have a general understanding of the pathologies associated with opioid use disorder and their appearance on diagnostic imaging. This article reviews image findings of several complications, organized in a systems-based approach, for the orthopedic surgeon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHSS Journal
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • arterial/mycotic pseudoaneurysm
  • complications of opioid use
  • diagnostic imaging
  • infective endocarditis
  • noncardiogenic pulmonary edema
  • opioids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this