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Bone Joint J. 2015 Oct;97-B(10 Suppl A):45-8. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.97B10.36524.

Pain after total knee arthroplasty: a narrative review focusing on the stratification of patients at risk for persistent pain.

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University Hospital Saint- Luc - Catholic University of Louvain, Avenue Hippocrate 10, B-1200, Brussels, Belgium.


The patient with a painful arthritic knee awaiting total knee arthroplasty (TKA) requires a multidisciplinary approach. Optimal control of acute post-operative pain and the prevention of chronic persistent pain remains a challenge. The aim of this paper is to evaluate whether stratification of patients can help identify those who are at particular risk for severe acute or chronic pain. Intense acute post-operative pain, which is itself a risk factor for chronic pain, is more common in younger, obese female patients and those suffering from central pain sensitisation. Pre-operative pain, in the knee or elsewhere in the body, predisposes to central sensitisation. Pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee may also trigger neuropathic pain and may be associated with chronic medication like opioids, leading to a state of nociceptive sensitisation called 'opioid-induced hyperalgesia'. Finally, genetic and personality related risk factors may also put patients at a higher risk for the development of chronic pain. Those identified as at risk for chronic pain would benefit from specific peri-operative management including reduction in opioid intake pre-operatively, the peri-operative use of antihyperalgesic drugs such as ketamine and gabapentinoids, and a close post-operative follow-up in a dedicated chronic pain clinic.


pain knee replacement stratification

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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