Post-op Acetaminophen vs NSAID Use on Lumbar Spinal Fusion Outcomes

2016-03-08 02:38:23 | BioPortfolio


Patients undergoing spine surgery often have considerable pain post-operatively and frequently require opioid medication (Percocet, Norco, oxycodone, morphine, etc.) to control their pain postoperatively. The widespread use of opioids, however, is associated with a number of side effects. These include: sedation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness and itching amongst others. Some investigators have suggested that anti-inflammatory medications (the same class of medicines as advil, ibuprofen, etc.) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) can reduce the total dose of opioid required postoperatively and, as a result, lower opioid-related side effects.

The purpose of this study is to test this hypothesis and determine if postoperative anti-inflammatory medications and postoperative acetaminophen can reduce the amount of opioid required to control pain following surgery. A secondary goal of this study is to examine if the change in pain medication will lead to decreased overall pain levels, decreased opioid-related side effects and improved function [quicker ambulation with physical therapy (PT), earlier return to work, etc.].


Given the potential for non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen to decrease opioid requirements following spine surgery, the investigators propose a prospective, randomized, double-blinded clinical trial comparing the efficacy of intravenous (IV) acetaminophen (Group A) or IV ketorolac (Group K) versus placebo (Group P). The impact of treatment on perioperative opioid use, opioid-related complications, functional outcomes and rates of pseudarthrosis following 1 or 2 level lumbar fusion surgery will be measured in each group. The specific aims of this study are as follows:

- Specific Aim 1: Determine the impact of IV ketorolac or IV acetaminophen use on immediate postoperative opioid requirements, postoperative pain levels and opiate related symptoms using the Opiate-Related Symptom Distress Scale (ORSDS)

- Specific Aim 2: Determine the impact of IV ketorolac or IV acetaminophen use on functional outcomes defined by return to work, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and the Veterans Rand-12 (VR-12) Health Survey

The primary outcome is to determine the total postoperative opioid dose (in oral morphine equivalents) in each group. The investigators hypothesize that patients in Group A and Group K will have lower total opioid use, suffer from fewer opiate related symptoms and have similar rates of pseudarthrosis to patients in Group P. The investigators hypothesize that patients in Group A and Group K will have a quicker return to work and improved early functional outcomes although they acknowledge that long term functional outcomes may be the same for all groups.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment


Lumbar Osteoarthritis


Ketorolac, Acetaminophen, Placebo


Not yet recruiting


Hospital for Special Surgery, New York

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2016-03-08T02:38:23-0500

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Tapping of the subarachnoid space in the lumbar region, usually between the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae.

The lumbar and sacral plexuses taken together. The fibers of the lumbosacral plexus originate in the lumbar and upper sacral spinal cord (L1 to S3) and innervate the lower extremities.

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A nerve originating in the lumbar spinal cord (usually L2 to L4) and traveling through the lumbar plexus to provide motor innervation to extensors of the thigh and sensory innervation to parts of the thigh, lower leg, and foot, and to the hip and knee joints.

A pyrrolizine carboxylic acid derivative structurally related to INDOMETHACIN. It is an NSAID and is used principally for its analgesic activity. (From Martindale The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 31st ed)

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