Pain After Surgery
Some patients can develop chronic pain complaints after a surgical procedure. Chronic post surgical pain is described as pain that persists 3-6 months after a surgical procedure once the expected tissue healing has occurred. This pain is usually not related to the original cause of surgery. It typically has a different quality and intensity than the pre-surgical pain. Patients sometimes report persistent pain after inguinal hernia repairs, total knee and hip replacements, thoracic surgery, abdominal surgery and mastectomies among others. There are various risk factors associated with development of chronic pain after a surgical procedure and one of them is poor pain management before and after surgery.
Chronic post surgical pain is treated with a multimodal approach that includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, analgesics like acetaminophen, anticonvulsants like gabapentin and pregabalin. In some cases, patients may require nerve blocks to control the pain. In severe cases, implantable therapies like spinal cord stimulation, dorsal root ganglion stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation may be a good choice.