Pain Reduction Tied to One-Year Spine Surgery Outcomes

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Pain Reduction Tied to One-Year Spine Surgery Outcomes
Pain Reduction Tied to One-Year Spine Surgery Outcomes

(HealthDay News) — For patients undergoing elective surgery for degenerative lumbar spine conditions, postoperative improvement in pain intensity is associated with improvements in physical function and reductions in disability in the year following surgery, according to a study published in the August 1 issue of Spine.

Richard L. Skolasky, ScD, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues prospectively enrolled 260 individuals undergoing elective surgery for degenerative lumbar spine conditions (August 2005 through August 2011). To evaluate the association between improvement in pain intensity and subsequent improvement in physical function and disability, the authors conducted assessments preoperatively and three, six, and 12 months postoperatively.

The researchers found that there were improvements in pain intensity in 63.1% of patients by three and six months and in 70.8% by 12 months. The likelihood of having subsequent improvement in physical function during the 12 months post-surgery was increased for patients who experienced postoperative improvement in pain (odds ratio, 2.11). The association was similar for postoperative pain reduction and reduction in disability (odds ratio, 1.61).

"Those patients were more likely to have clinically important improvement in physical function and reduction in disability during the first postoperative year," the authors write.

Relevant financial activities outside the submitted work were disclosed: grants, board membership.

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