Older adults are the fastest growing segment of the population and surgical procedures in this group increase each year. Chronic post-surgical pain is an important consideration in the older adult as it affects recovery, physical functioning, and overall quality of life. It is increasingly recognized as a public health issue but there is a need to improve our understanding of the disease process as well as the appropriate treatment and prevention. Frailty, delirium, and cognition influence post-operative outcomes in older adults and have been implicated in the development of chronic post-surgical pain. Further research must be conducted to fully understand the role they play in the occurrence of chronic post-surgical pain in the older adult. Additionally, careful attention must be given to the physiologic, cognitive, and comorbidity differences between the older adult and the general population. This is critical for elucidating the proper chronic post-surgical pain treatment and prevention strategies to ensure that the older adult undergoing surgical intervention will have an appropriate and desirable post-operative outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-329
Number of pages9
JournalDrugs and Aging
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2020


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