Chris Lindemann, Patrick Strube, Christian Fisahn, Mirco Sgroi, Daniel Dornacher, Timo Zippelius

December 2022, pp 1 - 8 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-022-07462-x

First Online: 06 December 2022


This retrospective cohort study investigated the efficacy of a sublingual sufentanil tablet system (SSTS) in comparison to intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (IV-PCA) with piritramide for the management of postoperative pain following lumbar spinal fusion surgery.


This was a retrospective analysis of patients undergoing single- or two-level lumbar spinal fusion surgery and receiving the SSTS or IV-PCA for postoperative pain relief as part of multimodal pain management that included IV paracetamol and oral metamizole. The following variables were collected: postoperative pain intensity and frequency scores using the numerical rating scale (NRS), hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS), occurrence of nausea, postoperative mobilization, and patient satisfaction (MacNab criteria).


Sixty-four patients were included. Those receiving the SSTS (n = 30) had significantly lower pain intensities on the operative day (NRS: 4.0, CI: 3.6–4.3 vs. 4.5, CI: 4.2–4.9; p 


The SSTS is a potentially advantageous alternative to opioid IV-PCA for use within a multimodal approach to managing postoperative pain after lumbar fusion surgery. Furthermore, the potentially higher emetic effect of SSTS should be considered, and the patient should be able to perform the application.

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