When it comes to determining which patients will have long-lasting pain after orthopedic shoulder surgery, cognitive coping style and genetic predisposition to pain sensitivity may actually be bigger factors than the size or intensity of the operation, a new University of Florida Health study finds.
The findings could help researchers develop better ways to help patients manage pain.
“It is hard to know who is going to continue to have pain after surgery, which is compounded by the fact that a lot of people are having surgery to relieve pain in the first place,” said lead investigator Steven George, an associate professor and director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program and Brooks Rehabilitation research collaboration at the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions, part of UF Health. “Some of the factors that you would think might predict the outcome, such as the size or intensity of the surgery, aren’t as strong as people would have wanted them to be. It has led to researchers looking into individual factors that help determine response to surgery.”