Recovery following major surgical procedures can be influenced by both physical
(optimization of cardiopulmonary function, pain control, activity) and psychological
factors. Physical activity recommendations for post-operative patients is difficult, in part
because little is known about the short- and long-term benefits of exercise and mobility on
post-operative pain and return to normal functioning.
Major surgery has a drastic impact on the lives of patients and their families. Often,
patients undergoing the Nuss procedure have lingering pain which can complicate recovery.
Depending on the nature of the surgery and the severity of disease, this recovery period can
be as short as a few days, or it can take several weeks and even months. Few studies have
demonstrated the benefit of physical activity and exercise postoperatively on returning to
normal function. Additionally, research has suggested that pain and recovery can be
influenced by psychological factors.
The investigators will use wireless activity monitors to assess the activity levels of
children who undergo major musculoskeletal surgery, specifically the Nuss procedure. The
investigators will also evaluate this population for psychological well-being. In this pilot
study, the investigators identify goals and objectives which will provide preliminary
evidence for physical and psychological recommendations to reduce post-operative pain and
Families will be asked to complete questionnaires at different phases in the surgery
(pre-surgery, post bar insertion, post bar removal). Children will be instructed to record
any pain they are experiencing as a result of their condition or the surgery at various time
points. The activity levels will also be followed over the course of the recovery period.
- Children between the ages of 12-18 years that are scheduled to undergo a surgical
procedure for the correction of pectus excavatum
- History of chronic pain disorders
- History of major mental illness such as psychosis or bipolar disorder
- Cognitive impairment significantly below average age and/or grade level
- Non-English speaking parent or child
- Unable to obtain and keep access to a cellular phone
- Loss of wireless electronic activity monitor and refusal to replace to remain in the