The Biopsychosocial Model of Low Back Pain and Patient-Centered Outcomes Following Lumbar Fusion

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Abstract

Lumbar fusion is a surgical procedure performed to eliminate painful motion in a spinal segment by joining, or fusing, two or more vertebrae. Although the surgery has a high rate of producing radiographic fusion, many patients report pain, functional disability, an inability to return to work, and prolonged opioid pain reliever use following the procedure. Using the biopsychosocial model of low back pain as a framework, this review of the literature describes the biological, psychological, and social factors that have been associated with these negative outcomes. The findings suggest that at least some of the variability in postoperative outcomes may be due to preoperative patient characteristics, and evidence the theorized relationship between biopsychosocial factors and low back disability. The review also highlights a gap in the literature regarding biopsychosocial predictors of prolonged opioid use following lumbar fusion.

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