Comparison of perioperative oral multimodal analgesia versus IV PCA for spine surgery

J Spinal Disord Tech. 2010 Apr;23(2):139-45. doi: 10.1097/BSD.0b013e3181cf07ee.


Study design: A preintervention and postintervention design was used to examine a total of 200 patients.

Objective: After successful implementation at our institution of a perioperative oral multimodal analgesia protocol in major joint arthroplasty, a modified regimen was provided to patients undergoing spine procedures.

Summary of background data: A proactive, multimodal approach is currently recommended for the management of acute postoperative pain. Inadequate postoperative analgesia can negatively influence surgical outcome and duration of rehabilitation. Routine use of intravenous patient controlled analgesia (IV PCA) after surgery can result in substantial functional interference, side effects, and lead to untoward events as a result of programming errors.

Methods: A preintervention and postintervention design was used to compare a historical control group of spine surgery patients who received conventional IV PCA (N=100) with a prospective group who received some form of perioperative oral multimodal analgesia (N=100). The new regimen included preoperative and postoperative scheduled extended-release oxycodone, gabapentin, and acetaminophen, intraoperative dolasetron and as-needed postoperative short-acting oral oxycodone. Patient surveys and chart audits were used to measure pain intensity, functional interference from pain, opioid consumption, analgesic-related side effects, and patient satisfaction over the first 24 hours postoperatively.

Results: Patients who received the new perioperative multimodal oral regimen had significantly less opioid consumption (P<0.001), lower ratings of Least Pain (P<0.01), and experienced less nausea (P<.001), drowsiness (P<0.05), interference with walking (P=0.05), and coughing and deep breathing (P<0.05) compared with the IV PCA group.

Conclusions: This quality improvement study shows some safety and significant advantages of a multimodal perioperative oral analgesic regimen compared with standard IV PCA after spine surgery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / administration & dosage
  • Administration, Oral
  • Amines / administration & dosage
  • Analgesia / methods*
  • Analgesia, Patient-Controlled / adverse effects
  • Analgesia, Patient-Controlled / methods*
  • Analgesia, Patient-Controlled / statistics & numerical data
  • Analgesics / administration & dosage*
  • Arthroplasty / adverse effects*
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods*
  • Combined Modality Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Gabapentin
  • Humans
  • Indoles / administration & dosage
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Oxycodone / administration & dosage
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Preoperative Care / methods
  • Preoperative Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quinolizines / administration & dosage
  • Spine / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / administration & dosage


  • Amines
  • Analgesics
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids
  • Indoles
  • Quinolizines
  • Acetaminophen
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Gabapentin
  • dolasetron
  • Oxycodone