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Papers of the Week

Papers: 1 Jun 2024 - 7 Jun 2024


J Pain Res



Chronic Postsurgical Pain in Children and Adolescents: A Call for Action.


Einhorn LM, Krishnan P, Poirier C, Ingelmo P


Chronic postsurgical pain (CPSP) affects a significant proportion of children and adolescents after major surgery and is a detriment to both short- and long-term recovery outcomes. While clinical characteristics and psychosocial risk factors for developing CPSP in children and adults are well established in the literature, there has been little progress on the prevention and management of CPSP after pediatric surgery. Limited evidence to support current pharmacologic approaches suggests a fundamentally new paradigm must be considered by clinicians to both conceptualize and address this adverse complication. This narrative review provides a comprehensive evaluation of both the known and emerging mechanisms that support our current understanding of CPSP. Additionally, we discuss the importance of optimizing perioperative analgesic strategies to mitigate CPSP based on individual patient risks. We highlight the importance of postoperative pain trajectories to identify those most at risk for developing CPSP, the early referral to multi-disciplinary pain clinics for comprehensive evaluation and treatment of CPSP, and additional work needed to differentiate CPSP characteristics from other chronic pain syndromes in children. Finally, we recognize ongoing challenges associated with the universal implementation of available knowledge about pediatric CPSP into practically useful care plans for clinicians.