More than 10% of children who have surgery may experience clinically significant, chronic, postoperative pain, researchers found.
In a single center study, about 13% of kids who had general surgery, urologic surgery, or orthopedic surgery reported symptoms of chronic postoperative pain, Michelle Fortier, MD, of the University of California-Irvine, and colleagues reported in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery.
"Children reported pain that was clinically significant, frequent, and significantly interfered with activities at home, school and with friends," they wrote.
In adults, studies have shown that the incidence of chronic, postsurgical pain ranges from 5% to 85%, but the incidence of chronic postoperative pain in children isn't well established.
In fact, Fortier and colleagues said they couldn't find a single study exploring its incidence in children outside the context of phantom limb pain after amputation.