Orthopaedic procedures place children at risk for postoperative constipation due to combined effects of anesthesia, narcotics, and decreased physical mobility.
This retrospective study analyzed medication use and stool outcomes of 36 children who received polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG) or mineral oil (MO) after a spinal fusion.
METHODS AND RESULTS:
A chart review found no statistical differences by group for number of bowel movements (BMs) before discharge (p
= .37), time from procedure to BM, use of rescue cathartics (p
= .55), or medication refusal (p
= .37). In the PEG group, 90% refused the medication one or more times compared with 75% in the MO group.
Only 17% of patients had a BM before discharge. Findings suggest medication refusal may be related to the method of medication preparation, suggesting the child's choice in bowel regimens may be indicated. A prospective study with a larger, randomized sample size is needed.