Fibromyalgia (FM) is a complex syndrome incorporating many features associated with poor outcome in orthopaedic surgery. Aim of the present review was to comprehensively characterize the available evidence on the consequences of pre-existent FM on the outcomes of orthopaedic surgery.
We performed a systematic search in MedLine and Web of Science (WOS) to identify studies evaluating the effect of FM on patient-centred outcomes, opioids consumption and postoperative complications.
The search strategy identified 519 records in PubMed and 507 in WOS. A total of 27 articles were deemed eligible for inclusion in qualitative synthesis. Based on quality assessment, 10 studies were rated as good quality, 10 as fair quality and 7 as poor quality. Studies reporting the prevalence of FM in consecutive patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery (n = 19) were included in quantitative synthesis. The pooled prevalence of FM in patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery was 4.1% (95% CI: 2.4-6.8) in those receiving hip or knee surgery, 10.1% (95% CI: 5.7-17.2) in those receiving shoulder or elbow surgery and 21.0% (95% CI: 18.5-23.7) in those receiving spinal surgery. The results of our systematic review consistently report FM as a significant risk factor for less satisfaction, higher pain, worse functional outcome, increased risk for postoperative opioids prescription and higher rate of medical and surgical complications following orthopaedic surgery.
Identifying pre-existing FM in patients scheduled for elective orthopaedic surgery may help to better assess the benefit/risk ratio, improve patients’ awareness and minimize any discrepancy between expectancy and results.

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