Chronic Post-Surgical Pain

Almost all surgery is painful. The most common type of pain experienced after surgery is called acute pain. This is the pain that patients feel related to the incision and direct surgical trauma and it should resolve as their body begins to heal. Once the recuperative period is over, many people have little to no residual pain. Unfortunately, some patients develop chronic pain following surgery. This is pain that continues past the normal recuperative period and almost any surgical intervention can be associated with postoperative pain on a prolonged basis. This pain frequently occurs as a direct result of the scar tissue or injury to structures adjacent to the area where surgery was performed. These structures can include nerves, joints, muscles, or ligaments. Sometimes this irritation or damage to surrounding structures can also cause secondary muscular spasm. Treatment of a post-surgical condition requires that we determine the precise cause of the pain and more specifically, to which of these potential causes can the pain be attributed. Once the specific cause of the symptoms can be determined, appropriate medical intervention can be directed to treat the symptoms. It is likely that you will undergo certain injections to determine the precise cause of your symptoms. These injections will be diagnostic, but also hopefully therapeutic.