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Persistent postoperative pain after inguinal hernia repair in relation to occupational lifting and standing/walking: a 6-month follow-up study

Abstract

Objectives This study aims to evaluate the risk of persistent postoperative pain after inguinal hernia repair in relation to occupational lifting and standing/walking.

Methods We conducted a 6-month follow-up study that included all men with an inguinal hernia repair registered in the Danish Hernia Database from 1 January 2015 to 31 October 2016, who were born from 1 October 1949 to 1 October 1998, and who were alive, living in Denmark, and active in the labour market in the week before surgery. Members of the cohort received a questionnaire 6 months after surgery. Exposure estimates were allocated by combining self reported job titles with a job exposure matrix. Prevalence ratios of persistent postoperative pain during activity ≥2 on a numerical rating scale (range 0–10) according to occupational lifting and standing/walking were estimated using Poisson regression.

Results Of 4817 eligible patients, 2609 (54%) returned the questionnaire and 2508 contributed to the analyses. A total of 473 men (18.9%) reported persistent postoperative pain. In the group lifting >1000 to 6125 kg/day, the prevalence was 26.8% compared with 17.5% in the minimally exposed group; adjusted prevalence ratio: 1.44 (95% CI 1.16 to 1.79). For standing/walking >6 hours/day, the prevalence was 23.6% compared with 17.0% in the group standing <4 hours/day; adjusted prevalence ratio: 1.18 (95% CI 0.92 to 1.50).

Conclusions The risk of persistent postoperative pain after inguinal hernia repair was elevated among men with occupational lifting exposures >1000 kg/day. This finding suggests a preventive potential.

  • Body mass index
  • groin hernia
  • hernia repair
  • inguinal hernia
  • laparoscopic
  • Lichtenstein
  • leisure-time physical activity
  • occupational exposure
  • prognosis
  • smoking
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