Case of the Month #16: Persistent Pain Following Spinal Surgery by Dr Lorraine de Gray

Published: 01/06/2022


This month’s case report is about a patient who presented to clinic with persistent pain following spinal surgery.  As pain clinicians we frequently meet patients who have had severe pain prior to spinal surgery and remained troubled by pain postoperatively and in the longer term.

This month’s recommended reading is based on recent literature around the aetiology, terminology assessment, potential prevention and multimodal management of persistent pain post spinal surgery.

The following case report poses various medical and ethical dilemmas.  

I recommend that you read the case report and then have a look at the recommended reading before trying to address some of the questions posed at the end of the case report.

I would recommend that you subsequently discuss your answers with your educational and clinical supervisors as well as with other trainees.  As with all such complex cases, there is never a single best answer and the management will need to be tailored according to how the patient responds and progresses.