Does Intraoperative Multi-Drug Wound Infiltration Relieve Postoperative Pain Following Single-Level TLIF Surgery? A Randomized Controlled Trial

Pain Physician. 2023 Jan;26(1):13-19.


Background: How to minimize postoperative pain following spinal surgery has been a great challenge for both surgeons and patients. We hypothesized that intraoperative multi-drug wound infiltration could relieve postoperative pain following single-level transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) surgery.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of intraoperative multi-drug wound infiltration for postoperative pain following single-level TLIF surgery.

Study design: A randomized, double-blinded controlled trial (RCT).

Setting: Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University.

Methods: The RCT enrolled 50 patients with 25 cases in 2 groups. The study group received intraoperative wound infiltration of mixed solution with lidocaine, ropivacaine, and epinephrine before wound closure. The control group was infiltrated with an equal amount of normal saline. The primary outcome measure was the visual analog scale (VAS) of postoperative incision pain. The secondary outcome measures were the postoperative opioids dosage, the time of first analgesic demand, and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI).

Results: The VAS of postoperative pain in the study group was significantly lower than the control group within postoperative 24 hours. The opioid dosage was significantly less and the time of first analgesic demand of patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) in the study group was significantly longer than the control group. None of the patients in the study group required analgesic supplementation. The side effects of opioids were significantly less in the study group. There was no significant difference in ODI, operation time, intraoperative blood loss, postoperative drainage, and postoperative incision complications between the 2 groups.

Limitations: Single-center study for single-level TLIF surgery.

Conclusions: Intraoperative multi-drug wound infiltration before closure could significantly relieve postoperative pain following single-level TLIF surgery.

Keywords: multi-drug; postoperative pain; randomized controlled trial; wound infiltration; Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae* / surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Fusion* / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Analgesics, Opioid