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Are joint and soft tissue injections painful? Results of a national French cross-sectional study of procedural pain in rheumatological practice.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Joint, spinal and soft tissue injections are commonly performed by rheumatologists in their daily practice. Contrary to other procedures, e.g. performed in pediatric care, little is known about the frequency, the intensity and the management of procedural pain observed in osteo-articular injections in daily practice. METHODS: This observational, prospective, national study was carried out among a French national representative database of primary rheumatologists to evaluate the prevalence and intensity of pain caused by intra-and peri-articular injections, synovial fluid aspirations, soft tissue injections, and spinal injections. For each physician, data were collected over 1 month, for up to 40 consecutive patients (>18-years-old) for whom a synovial fluid aspiration, an intra or peri-articular injection or a spinal injection were carried out during consultations. Statistical analysis was carried out in order to compare patients who had suffered from pain whilst undergoing the procedure to those who had not. Explanatory analyses were conducted by stepwise logistic regression with the characteristics of the patients to explain the existence of pain. RESULTS: Data were analysed for 8446 patients (64% female, mean age 62 +/- 14 years) recruited by 240 physicians. The predominant sites injected were the knee (45.5%) and spine (19.1%). Over 80% of patients experienced procedural pain which was most common in the small joints (42%) and spine (32%) Pain was severe in 5.3% of patients, moderate in 26.6%, mild in 49.8%, and absent in 18.3%. Pain was significantly more intense in patients with severe pain linked to their underlying pathology and for procedures performed in small joints.Preventative or post-procedure analgesia was rarely given, only to 5.7% and 36.3% of patients, respectively. Preventative analgesia was more frequently prescribed in patients with more severe procedural pain. CONCLUSION: Most patients undergoing intra-or peri-articular injections, synovial fluid aspirations and spine injections suffer from procedural pain. Most patients experience usually mild procedural pain and procedural pain management is uncommonly provided by physicians. Specific research and guidelines for the management of procedural pain related to rheumatologic care should be established to improve the quality of care provided by physicians.
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Submitted on : Friday, January 27, 2012 - 1:04:11 PM
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Serge Perrot, Françoise Laroche, Coralie Poncet, Pierre Marie, Catherine Payen-Champenois. Are joint and soft tissue injections painful? Results of a national French cross-sectional study of procedural pain in rheumatological practice.. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, BioMed Central, 2010, 11 (1), pp.16. ⟨10.1186/1471-2474-11-16⟩. ⟨inserm-00663536⟩



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