The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
Result showed posttraumatic stress, pain distribution, pain intensity and number of fractures may successfully predict poor long-term pain outcomes within days of musculoskeletal trauma injury.
In a prospective cohort study, David W. Evans, PhD, and colleagues analyzed 124 patients (mean age, 48.9 years) with acute musculoskeletal trauma who were admitted to a major trauma center hospital from December 2018 to March 2020. The researchers measured poor pain outcomes — defined by a chronic pain grade II or higher — at 6 and 12 months. After analyzing pain mechanisms, quantitative sensory testing and psychosocial factors, the researchers determined which variables were most likely to be associated with a poor outcome. They then developed a clinical screening tool from 6-month results.
At 6 months, 19 of 82 respondents (23.2%) reported a good outcome, whereas 27 of 44 respondents (61.4%) reported a good outcome at 12 months, according to the study. Evans and colleagues found increases in total posttraumatic stress symptoms (OR = 2.09), pain intensity average (OR = 2.87), number of fractures (OR = 2.79) and pain extent (OR = 4.67) were associated with worse outcomes at 6 months.
“Recovery of post-trauma pain can therefore be summarized as very slow and by no means certain for all, a message consistent with previous studies,” the researchers wrote.
“Our results confirm that a poor long-term outcome from musculoskeletal traumatic injuries can be estimated by measures recorded within days of injury,” they concluded.