Postoperative pain management in patients undergoing posterior spinal fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: A narrative review

Hiroyuki Seki, Satoshi Ideno, Taiga Ishihara, Kota Watanabe, Morio Matsumoto, Hiroshi Morisaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Posterior spinal fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is one of the most invasive surgical procedures performed in children and adolescents. Because of the extensive surgical incision and massive tissue trauma, posterior spinal fusion causes severe postoperative pain. Intravenous patient-controlled analgesia with opioids has been the mainstay of postoperative pain management in these patients. However, the use of systemic opioids is sometimes limited by opioid-related side effects, resulting in poor analgesia. To improve pain management while reducing opioid consumption and opioid-related complications, concurrent use of analgesics and analgesic modalities with different mechanisms of action seems to be rational. The efficacy of intrathecal opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as components of multimodal analgesia in scoliosis surgery has been well established. However, there is either controversy or insufficient evidence regarding the use of other analgesic methods, such as continuous ketamine infusion, perioperative oral gabapentin, acetaminophen, continuous wound infiltration of local anesthetics, a single dose of systemic dexamethasone, and lidocaine infusion in this patient population. Moreover, appropriate combinations of analgesics have not been established. The aim of this literature review is to provide detailed information of each analgesic technique so that clinicians can make appropriate choices regarding pain management in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis undergoing posterior spinal fusion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalScoliosis and Spinal Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sept 12


  • Analgesia
  • Pain management
  • Scoliosis
  • Spine surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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