UC Gardner launches clinical trial for post-spine-surgery pain control


The Cincinnati-based UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute has launched a new clinical trial aiming to improve postsurgical pain and reduce opioid dependency and length of stay for patients undergoing spine surgery. 

More than half of patients who undergo spine surgery report poor pain control, with 30% to 50% experiencing chronic pain for more than 12 weeks post-procedure, according to a Nov. 9 press release. 

This chronic pain causes increased patient disability, opioid dependencies and a decreased quality of life. 

Owoicho Adogwa, MD, a physician researcher at UC Gardner, is leading the randomized control trial that will use patients' genotypes to develop customized postsurgical pain regimens for spine surgery patients.

Researchers believe the custom plans will improve pain management and length of hospital stay. The trial will also help determine the molecular genetic profile of patients most likely to recover rapidly after surgery. 

The study is the first of its kind in adult neurosurgery, though genotype studies have been conducted in other fields of medicine. 

Dr. Adogwa hopes to enroll 130 patients in the study over the course of two years. He already has more than a dozen patients, and the preliminary results are encouraging, according to the release. 

"With patients who have been randomized to the genotype arm, length of hospital stay is down and patients are leaving the hospital much faster. Patients in the genotype-guided arm of the study are leaving the hospital within 72 hours of surgery — surgeries that would have kept them here for five days compared to the traditional standard of care," Dr. Adogwa said in the release. 

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