An extensive physical examination and a correlated scoring system, as opposed to just clinical factors alone, may paint a more comprehensive picture when assessing a patient’s chronic pain following a surgery.
Antonio Montes Perez, MD, PhD, of the department of anesthesiology, Hospital de Mar in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues followed 2,929 patients undergoing either a hernia repair, hysterectomy or thoracotomy at four, 12 and 24 months after surgery.
Eighteen percent of the patients noted chronic pain after four months, and 5.2% noted chronic pain after 24 months.
The scoring system was developed based on six predictors among the patients in the study:
• Type of surgery
• Mental health status
• Physical health status
• Preoperative pain in the surgical area and
• Preoperative pain in another area.
The researchers said this risk scoring can facilitate discussions on addressing the pain during the recover, and setting a schedule to monitor pain, with follow up visits.