| spinal/spine

Lumbar Surgery Pain Predicting

Who Knows Best? The Patient or the Surgeon?

What will a patient’s pain be like after lumbar spine surgery? What about two years after lumbar spine surgery? “Unrealistically high or low expectations are problematic, predisposing patients to poor outcomes if they become discouraged with recovery, abandon rehabilitation or ignore recommended lifestyle modifications that reduce disease progression,” says Carol A. Mancuso, MD, FACP, a general internist and clinical epidemiologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery, and coauthor of an article in the Spine journal. The article explored variances in expected pain levels after lumbar spine surgery. Over 400 surgeon and patient pairings and expectation were examined.

Using the HSS Lumbar Spine Surgery Expectations Survey, researchers asked patients for a preoperative assessment of their outcomes. The patients were contacted 2 years later as well. Surgeon expectations of patient pain more closely resembled patient reported pain 2 year postoperatively. Researchers hope this study will lead to even better patient and surgeon communication, which in turn will lead to better overall outcomes.


Access the journal.

Read the press release on Newswise.

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