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Association of Common Pediatric Surgeries With New Onset Chronic Pain in Patients 0-21 Years of Age in the United States

Published:October 07, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2022.09.015

      Abstract

      Chronic pain (CP) is a major public health issue. While new onset CP is known to occur frequently after some pediatric surgeries, its incidence after the most common pediatric surgeries is unknown. This retrospective cohort study used insurance claims data from 2002 to 2017 for patients 0 to 21 years of age. The primary outcome was CP 90 to 365 days after each of the 20 most frequent surgeries in 5 age categories (identified using CP ICD codes). Multivariable logistic regression identified surgeries and risk factors associated with CP after surgery. A total of 424,590 surgical patients aged 0 to 21 were included, 22,361 of whom developed CP in the 90 to 365 days after surgery. The incidences of CP after surgery were: 1.1% in age group 0 to 1 years; 3.0% in 2 to 5 years; 5.6% in 6 to 11 years; 10.1% in 12 to 18 years; 9.9% in 19 to 21 years. Some surgeries and patient variables were associated with CP. Approximately 1 in 10 adolescents who underwent the most common surgeries developed CP, as did a striking percentage of children in other age groups. Given the long-term consequences of CP, resources should be allocated toward identification of high-risk pediatric patients and strategies to prevent CP after surgery.

      Perspective

      This study identifies the incidences of and risk factors for chronic pain after common surgeries in patients 0 to 21 years of age. Our findings suggest that resources should be allocated toward the identification of high-risk pediatric patients and strategies to prevent CP after surgery.

      Key Words

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