OBJECTIVES: To determine the incidence of chronic pain after surgery for pelvic fracture using a strict definition and measures of intensity and health-related quality of life. METHODS: In April 2004, a questionnaire was sent to 221 patients who underwent surgery for pelvic fracture in the period 1996 to 2000. Chronic pain was defined as pain at present that related back to the pelvic fracture and was not a consequence of other disease. Health-related quality of life was measured using the 15D questionnaire. RESULTS: The response rate was 72.9% after a median follow-up of 5.6 years. Chronic pain was seen in 48.4% (95% confidence interval, 40.7%-56.2%). These patients had a combination of somatic nociceptive, visceral nociceptive, and neuropathic pain and had significantly lower health-related quality of life. Also, the use of opioids (14.1% vs. 4.8%) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories/paracetamol (57.7% vs. 21.7%), the request for financial compensation (75.6% vs. 45.8%), and complications related to leg function (62.8% vs. 20.5%) were significantly higher in the group with chronic pain than in the group without chronic pain. CONCLUSIONS: Chronic pain after pelvic fracture is a major problem that affects a patient's quality of life. The use of analgesics was higher in these patients, and they had more complications. Chronic pain after surgery for pelvic fracture deserves more attention.
Clinical Journal of Pain, 2006, Vol 22, Issue 2, p. 167-72