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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Jun 2019 - 21 Jun 2019

Human Studies


J Pain Res


Acute postoperative opioid consumption trajectories and long-term outcomes in pediatric patients after spine surgery.


Li M M, Ocay D D, Teles AR, Ingelmo PM, Ouellet JA, Pagé GM, Ferland CE
J Pain Res. 2019; 12:1673-1684.
PMID: 31190974.


The days following surgery are a critical period where the use of opioids predicts long-term outcomes in adults. It is currently unknown as to whether opioid consumption throughout the acute postoperative period is associated with long-term outcomes in pediatric patients. The aims of this study were to characterize opioid consumption trajectories in the acute postoperative period, identify predictors of trajectory membership and determine associations between opioid consumption trajectories and long-term patient outcomes. Medication use, pain and mental health status were assessed at baseline in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis who were scheduled for spinal fusion surgery. Cumulative 6-hr opioid consumption was recorded for up to 5 days after spinal surgery. At 6 months after surgery, medication use, pain and functional activity were evaluated. Growth mixture modeling was used to identify opioid trajectories. One hundred and six patients were included in the study. Mean cumulative 6-hr opioid consumption in the acute postoperative period was 13.23±5.20 mg/kg. The model with the best fit contained 5 acute postoperative trajectories and a quadratic term (AIC =6703.26, BIC =6767.19). Two types of patient behaviors were identified: high opioid consumers (trajectories 4 and 5) and low opioid consumers (trajectories 1, 2 and 3). Intraoperative intrathecal morphine dose was a predictor of trajectory membership (p=0.0498). Opioid consumption during the acute postoperative period was not significantly associated with pain, functional activity or pain medication use at 6 months after surgery. In pediatric patients, intraoperative intrathecal morphine dose predicts opioid consumption in the acute postoperative period. Importantly, opioid consumption during this period does not affect long-term outcomes in pediatric patients after a spine surgery.