Inadequate Pain Control After Spine Surgery is Common Interview with:
Michael M. H. Yang MD, MSc

Departments of Clinical Neurosciences, Section of Neurosurgery, 
Community Health Sciences
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
New York, New York  What is the background for this study?

Response: Spine surgery has been ranked as one of the most painful surgical procedures. Patients who experience poor pain control have delayed recovery, take more opioids, and stay in the hospital longer. The objective of our study was to determine patient and surgical factors that increased the chance for poorly controlled pain after spine surgery. These risk factors were incorporated into a score that can be used to determine the likelihood of a poor patient pain experience. What are the main findings?

Response: Overall, 57% of patients experienced poorly controlled pain after their spinal operation in our study. We found 7 risk factors for poor pain control: younger age, female sex, daily use of opioid medication, higher neck or back pain intensity, higher depression score, surgery involving 3 or more levels, and fusion surgery. These risk factors were used to create the Calgary Postoperative Pain After Spine Surgery (CAPPS) Score. Patients identified as low-, high-, and extreme-risk by the CAPPS score had 32%, 63%, and 85% chance of experiencing poorly controlled pain, respectively.