Presurgical assessment of temporal summation of pain predicts the development of chronic postoperative pain 12 months after total knee replacement

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Abstract

Patients with knee osteoarthritis demonstrate decreased pressure pain thresholds (PPTs), facilitated temporal summation (TS) of pain, and decreased conditioned pain modulation (CPM) compared with healthy controls. This study aimed to correlate preoperative PPTs, TS, and CPM with the development of chronic postoperative pain after total knee replacement (TKR) surgery. Knee pain intensity (visual analog scale [VAS]: 0-10), PPTs, TS, and CPM were collected before, 2 months, and 12 months after TKR. Patients were divided into a low-pain (VAS < 3) and a high-pain (VAS ≥ 3) group based on their VAS 12 months after TKR. The high-pain group (N = 17) had higher pain intensities compared with the low-pain group (N = 61) before surgery (P = 0.009) and 12 months after surgery (P < 0.001). The PPTs of the low-pain groups were normalized for all measurement sites comparing presurgery with 12 months postsurgery (P < 0.05, contralateral arm: P = 0.059), which was not the case for the high-pain group. The low-pain group showed a functional inhibitory CPM preoperatively and 12 months postoperatively (P < 0.05), which was not found in the high-pain group. The high-pain group had higher facilitated TS preoperatively and 12 months postoperatively compared with the low-pain group (P < 0.05). Preoperative TS level correlated to 12-month postoperative VAS (R = 0.240, P = 0.037). Patients who developed moderate-to-severe pain had pronociceptive changes compared with patients who developed mild pain postsurgery. Preoperative TS level correlated with the postoperative pain intensity and may be a preoperative mechanistic predictor for the development of chronic postoperative pain in patients with osteoarthritis after TKR.

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