The purpose of this study was to determine if preoperative distress factors could be used as predictors of postoperative pain in adolescents scheduled for spinal fusion surgery. Patients reporting the presence of pain before surgery reported greater pain intensity at postoperative day (POD) 1 (p = .033), POD 2 (p = .008) and at follow-up 6 weeks after surgery (p = .0001). Preoperative trait anxiety was associated with pain intensity before surgery (p = .002) but not with postoperative pain intensity (p > .05). Salivary cortisol concentrations did not differentiate between anxious and nonanxious patients based on anxiety trait (p = .21) and was not associated with postoperative pain intensity (p > .05). These findings suggest that preoperative distress factors do not predict postoperative pain intensity in the acute and intermediate period. The presence of preoperative pain was the best predictor of postoperative pain intensity, suggesting that preoperative pain assessment will identify patients at an elevated risk for intense postoperative pain.